Stir It Up
A commons idea
Cass Corridor experiment would save a church and mitigate gentrification's excesses
Published: August 31, 2011
So there's plenty of change in the air for the space. The plan is for it to be a true community that shares resources rather than a group of discrete businesses.
"It's built around the concept of the commons, the things that we collectively own in community," says Spady. "I was baptized there as a Unitarian. One of EMEAC's founders was very much so involved. There were a number of folks that we worked with in various activist organizations who were involved there. We intentionally went back to the Cass Corridor concept. There is a piece of history there. ... It's a manifestation of the relationships that we've been growing over the past several years. This is the realization of a dream. The conversation started at the  Social Forum about the need for a justice hub, a community beehive of activities that can be fed in all kinds of ways, emotionally, socially. This is in many ways the outcome that is supposed to happen when you work with community."
I love the idea, but there is one thing I hope doesn't change. There is a gate and a wall in the church driveway that a partner and I built in the summer of 1978. Every time I pass there I look at it and think, "I built that." It's a little personal legacy that I'm proud of. The EMEAC folks say they're thinking about what to do with the space behind the gate. If their plan necessitates taking it down, I'll be disappointed but I can live with it. Community building is more important.
> Email Larry Gabriel