We already know what The Platform, our base of operations and funded Artplace project, should look like and most importantly, what function it will serve, so from September through October, we, at Watts House Project (WHP) figured out exactly what to do to reach the finish line. For months, WHP’s Building Committee, with the help of an independent contractor, has thoroughly reviewed, studied, and explored all options for the revitalization of the three structures that constitute The Platform. With the staff, the Building Committee spearheaded these efforts and a due diligence process, examining the viability of prefabricated units to replace the substantially decayed buildings dating back to 1912. The Committee determined that sufficient significant architectural elements of the existing buildings remained for us to maintain their integrity while rendering them safe, sanitary and in compliance with the local zoning ordinances and residential codes. Additionally, the Committee has made painstaking efforts to ensure that the budget and timeline for the development of The Platform are all in keeping with ArtPlace’s milestone expectations – three beautifully refurbished spaces that are habitable and ready to exhibit art and host meaningful programs for the Watts community.
We are happy to report that the pre-development phase is near completion. And as we move towards this development phase, WHP has engaged a hazardous materials testing company to conduct testing and report on the presence of asbestos and lead.
WHP also caught up with the architect John Umbanhowar, who is currently working on the drawings for The Platform. John described the Platform as a project like no other in which he has been engaged and really appreciates our collaborative model.
We’ll catch up more with John next month and update you on how the design process is moving. Please stay tuned as we reach the end of the pre-development phase!