Daily digest: Dave Chappelle spoke out against affordable housing, Perkins Eastman merges with BLT Architects, and more

Eating Up A BLT

Daily digest: Dave Chappelle spoke out against affordable housing, Perkins Eastman merges with BLT Architects, and more

The 60-year-old, Philadelphia-based BLTa is now part of Perkins Eastman. (Gibson Hurst™/Via Unsplash)

Good afternoon and happy Friday. Congratulations on making it to the end of another week—before Super Bowl LVI kicks off this Sunday, why not get acquainted with the design of the host stadium or surrounding landscape?

Here’s what’s going on today:

Dave Chappelle threatened to pull investments in Yellow Springs, Ohio, over new affordable housing

A video of Dave Chappelle threatening to pull millions in investments from the town of Yellow Springs, Ohio, went viral this week, as the stand-up comedian and actor testified against plans to include affordable housing in a new 53-acre mixed-use development. Intended to let village service workers live closer to their places of employment, if built, the project would have seen about 140 mixed-income homes added across three lots.

However, at the February 7 meeting (you can watch the testimony here), Chappelle threatened to pull his $65-million-a-year company from Yellow Springs if the affordable housing component passed, saying he wasn’t bluffing and that he would “take it all off the table.” The council ultimately came a 2-2 deadlock after voting, allowing the project to revert back to 143 single-family market-rate homes at those parcels.

“Neither Dave nor his neighbors are against affordable housing,” Carla Sims, Chappelle’s publicist, told CNN, “however, they are against the poorly vetted, cookie-cutter, sprawl-style development deal which has little regard for the community, culture and infrastructure of the Village.”

H/t to CNN

BLT Architects is now a Perkins Eastman studio

The Philadelphia-based BLT Architects (or BLTa), is now officially BLTa—A Perkins Eastman Studio after merging with the aforementioned international firm. As the press release from Perkins Eastman notes, the firm currently has 24 studios under its umbrella worldwide with more than 1,100 employees. The merger went into effect February 1.

H/t to Architect Magazine

Colorado State University is building an “energy campus” to tackle its power needs

Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, is gearing up to build its second “energy campus,” a new complex that will generate solar power and provide more space for climate research. Powerhouse II will complement the original energy campus, Powerhouse 1, and so far it looks like a 150,000-square-foot building is in the works, alongside fields of solar panels.

H/t to the Coloradoan

What’s going on with the Extreme Model Railroad and Contemporary Architecture Museum?

It’s been about four years now since AN last provided an update on Gehry Partners’ Extreme Model Railroad and Contemporary Architecture Museum in North Adams, Massachusetts, the brainchild of Thomas Krens, the man behind MASS MoCA. So what’s happened in the years since? Not much, it turns out.

The development team is reportedly still negotiating with the city over ownership of the museum’s speculative site, and the for-profit museum is struggling to collect money for construction after the pandemic slowed fundraising. While the design hasn’t changed, much since we first saw the sinuous models put out by Gehry’s office, it’s unlikely the model railroad museum will open by 2025. In 2018, AN reported that it was expected to open in 2021 at a cost of $65 million.

H/t to The Berkshire Eagle

The Museum of London reveals its relocation timetable… and a name change

The Museum of London is gearing up for its major relocation, revealing that its main location in London Wall will close to visitors this December—but before that, the museum will kick off a six-month celebration this summer in honor of its 45 years there. Once the primary museum is relocated to West Smithfield in 2025, the museum will be rebranded as The London Museum.