Washington Park in Downtown Newark
Left to right: Broad Street Station, Polhemus House, YWCA Building, Newark Museum, Ballantine House,
Second Presbyterian Church, American Insurance Company, Newark Public Library
When I examine old pictures of my neighborhood in Newark’s archives, I realize how much of my city disappeared in the past forty years. This trend will inevitably continue, as it does in most cities where old buildings outlive their use. If not in the form of my city’s physical destruction, this loss is in the form of my gradual loss of childhood memories. To reconcile this, I built the below model as my own souvenir. This keepsake will forever remind me of my Newark identity.
The landmarks depicted are selected from my neighborhood and include my childhood home. The buildings are drawn with ink and pastel on thick paper, which is then cutout to form a two-dimensional silhouette. The trolleys travel back and forth down the street and are magnetically operated by a crank and hidden string beneath the street. The tracks guide the trains up, down, and into the tunnel. These trolleys are modeled on those that used to exist in Newark, long before my time here.
Perhaps, this models presents a more romanticized and idealized Newark than the city that actually exists.
Newark Public Library
James Street Ensemble
Presbyterian Church / Broad St. Station
American Insurance / Public Library
I often gaze at the towers, bridges, and waterfront of my native Newark. I know that one day, if I am far from home, these drawings will become souvenirs of my urban childhood.
Newark Skyline from the Passaic River
Panorama of Newark from Roof of 810 Broad Street