Defenestration, San Francisco, California, USA
You can find this funny building called Defenestration in San Francisco, California, at the corner of 6th and Howard Streets. A bunch of random things like tables, chairs, lamps, grandfather clocks, and refrigerator are placed on the side of the building to create the illusion of falling. The building façade stands in front of us due to combined forces of Brian Goggin and over 100 volunteers. Тhis abandoned four-story tenement building has been a sculptural mural since 1997. The ground level serves as a rotating gallery for the vibrant artwork of street muralists.
«Defenestration» literally means "to throw out of a window". The word describes the political action of disagreement used in some countries in the middle ages. By the way this action was applied not only on things, but almost on people-political opponents. With this glance the building most probably refers to Southern Italian New Year's tradition of “throwing out the old year” – flinging unwanted furniture out of the window. Anyway, the both traditions refer to the same philosophy – “throwing out all the old, for the better future!” This philosophy lied on the creation of the building just in this part or the city - one of the most blighted neighborhoods of San Francisco. Defenestration was a turning point for a neighborhood – and an example for others who seeks ways to inspire positive change.
After 13 years of existence the Defenestration Project was renovated. The restoration process was extensive and turned out to need significant investment. It took a year, considerable support, and the help of numerous people, organizations and businesses.
As recently was announced, San Francisco Redevelopment Agency has selected a developer to build low income housing on the site and they are going to keep “Defenestration façade” up until construction on the site is ready to proceed. For the community development it is a good sign, and the Project’s final goal achievement. But for us, this award winning façade needs to be protected to remind about the problems of poor neighborhoods in reach cities.