Urban Alchemy grew out my partnership with the developer John Delia and our shared interest in promoting community development and positive change through the built environment. With a desire to demonstrate productive use of vacant land within the city, we started a community garden on the city’s land bank property, founding a 501(c)(3) community development corporation in the process. The combination of real estate and economic development plus architecture and design thinking for social change informed our mission statement:
Urban Alchemy is an action-oriented 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that transforms overlooked and unproductive spaces into high visible developments. We work with community interests to increase occupancy, foster economic growth, and promote personal pride for residents.
After coordinating by-laws, articles of organization, and other organizational aspects, we set forth on a strategy to transform the foreclosure crisis and thousands of vacant, blighted urban property into an opportunity to create a sense of community and change the direction of a neighborhood.
Urban Alchemy teamed up with Rather Severe (Jon Stommel & Travis Czekalski) to create a highly visible mural on the side of the local corner store. We focused on a bright, inspirational beacon for the community and have been overwhelmed by the positive response. Check out Rather Severe for more of their amazing work!