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J. Taylor | profile | all galleries >> Cities, Parks and Places Named >> Savannah Alleys tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Savannah Alleys

Alleys, in general, are like the backs of stages, the audience should never see what goes on behind the scenes or the illusion is lost. Attention to alleys lag the commerce they support by decades, while storefronts are remodeled and occupants exchanged repeatedly. In the alley only service workers know intimately what comes and goes, they know it's surfaces and geometry, create its daily inflow and outflow of traffic. In their coming and going they remake this confined space with the additive modeling of leaks, dunnage and detritus, the subtractive sculpture of scratching and chipping. Repair is never a cosmetic issue. There is small economic incentive to rennovate. Choice of materials and techniques of adapting and repairing structure needs no approval from an architectural board. Style here is in the jurisdiction of the board of health and the division of public safety, or rather, defaults to permit holders. Because the various tenants and landlords who hold the permits differ in their levels of skill and their resources, the effect is uneven. The responses of these surfaces to time and the elements are, wildly disparate. The reality is highly textured and saturated with smell and color. Architecture, here, evolves organically.
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