Daily digest: Explore a digital model of Black Wall Street, destabilizing sand shortages, and more

A Memorial Day Weekend To Remember

Daily digest: Explore a digital model of Black Wall Street, destabilizing sand shortages, and more

Historic photo depicting Greenwood under siege in 1921. The incident grew from a standoff at the county courthouse. (Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain)

Welcome back to the top of another week, and if you’re in the U.S., the week leading up to Memorial Day. As summer finally approaches, expect more museums and outdoor sculpture and art parks to reopen, providing plenty of chances to get away even if you’re not comfortable returning to indoor events just yet.

Here’s what you need to know today:

Sand over-extraction could literally destabilize the planet

Sand, despite its seeming ubiquity, is a vital resource for everything from construction (required to produce cement and thus concrete) to glass and semiconductor manufacturing. That also means that, as with any extractive industry, sand is being over sourced, to the point where entire islands have eroded away and been rendered totally uninhabitable. Aside from the criminal cartels clashing to control the sand industry, the loss of habitat is forcing more people into cities… and creating a feedback loop as more concrete becomes required to support them.

H/t to Earther

Preservationists fight to protect massive Soviet-era murals in Ukraine

As Ukraine continues its “decommunization,” massive murals by Victor Arnautoff, a Soviet immigrant best known stateside for his Works Progress Administration pieces, are at risk in his hometown of Mariupol. Three Soviet Realist mosaics from Arnautoff now sit neglected and at risk of falling apart, and campaigners are trying to raise money to save them.

H/t to The Art Newspaper

The Museum of Making shines a light on English manufacturing

Architecture critic Oliver Wainwright is enamored with the recently renovated Museum of Making in Derby, England. Opening in a riverside redbrick mill that was formerly home to the world’s first “mechanized” factory when it opened in 1721, the building has since been repurposed as a museum honoring the city’s role in building everything from trains to ceramics to video games. Visitors can get hands-on with the artifacts, and a fully stocked makerspace is also open to the public.

H/t to The Guardian

Explore Tulsa’s Greenwood neighborhood before it was destroyed

It’s the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, a horrific outbreak of racial violence in which a white mob razed Greenwood, a thriving Black neighborhood frequently referred to as Black Wall Street, to the ground and murdered hundreds of Black residents. Now, the New York Times has commissioned a full 3D recreation of the Tusla, Oklahoma, district in memorial, complete with information on every business, from the movie theater to the hotels, that was lost. Personal remembrances and photos of daily life have also been integrated, providing a fully spatial look at the area.

H/t to the New York Times

New York City’s SoHo/NoHo rezoning moves into public review

Despite the ongoing lawsuits from local community groups, New York City is pushing ahead with plans to densify SoHo and NoHo. Last Monday, the City Planning Commission officially certified the project, meaning it can begin working its way through the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure—and Mayor Bill de Blasio is hoping the rezoning can be officially cemented before the end of his term this year. The acrimonious back-and-forth between the city (who feel the rezoning will allow more affordable housing to be built in the notoriously rich and white neighborhoods) and residents (who claim the move would kill the neighborhood’s historic character) has spilled out into community board meetings and the paper of record over the last few months.

H/t to The Real Deal

Frank Gehry’s residential towers at 8150 Sunset in Los Angeles can finally move ahead

A two-story Googie bank building at Sunset and Crescent Heights Boulevards in Hollywood has been demolished, clearing the way for a pair of glassy, residential mid-rise towers from Gehry Partners to rise in its stead. The Lytton Savings Building, originally designed by Kurt Meyer, had been a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument since 2016, but that wasn’t enough to stave off the wrecking ball. 8150 Sunset, once completed, will see two approximately 178-foot-tall “crystalline” towers arranged around an expansive courtyard.

H/t to Urbanize Los Angeles