Youngstown’s Tyler Clark has a blog post today about a deconstruction forum that took place in Youngstown yesterday.
This process was first piloted on a large scale in Cleveland, with the support of the Cleveland Foundation. The best synopsis I’ve read was in this New York Times article last year.
Rather than demolishing vacant homes at a considerable cost to the municipality, a former architect named Brad Guy had the idea of taking apart homes nail by nail and scrapping the parts. The process has been attractive to many Rust Belt cities in two ways. First, it requires lots of workers in soft job markets. Second, it creates value out of what was formerly thought of as a total loss. In an added benefit, reusing building materials is green, green, green.
Urban Advocates in Youngstown have been pushing to bring the tactic there. The city has been demolishing about 500 homes annually at a cost of more than $1 million.