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UB Team Prepares For 91 Totems @ Urban Roots

Once again, Brad Wales and his team of 10 independent and 15 studio UB students have set out to astound the residents of Buffalo. Remember the bus shelters in Allentown? Remember the spinning facade of the house on Putnam? This time Brad had set his eyes on the Five Corners area of the city. In fact, his latest Small Built Project will add to the growing grassroots momentum that has begun to take root. Back in December I detailed the project here. Since that time the students have been busy preparing the totems for the Urban Roots park.

When I stopped by earlier today to check out the progress being made at the site, I found the UB team busy dropping the footing and pounding and welding the rebar frame into the ground in preparation for the upcoming trench cement pour. The dirt removed from the trench was donated to an organic farm at the corner of Vermont and West. Off to the side lay the two massive metal swinging gates, which will ultimately act as entranceways into the grounds of the Urban Roots Garden Cooperative. 5″ gaps in the totem wall (there are 91 totems all total!) will give the artistic cement buffer a lighter feel in that visitors will be able to see through to the other side.

Over the last two years, four of Brad’s classes have worked towards seeing this work to completion. There is an event planned for May 7th (5pm at the park) that will allow the students to come together alongside members of the community to pay homage to the project – whether it is 100% complete or not.


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