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The People’s Portico: An Excavation of Federal Hall

If we aren’t working against bias, then we are complicit in it. My project is about creating a center in what was a margin. Our modern mythology portrays Wall Street as a symbol of American wealth and prosperity. This prosperity is denoted through the enclave of modern skyscrapers and the grandeur of the Neoclassical-style buildings that are interspersed along the street. Regarding the latter, Federal Hall became my focus as I noticed how it is barred from public interaction by means of scaffolding and fencing. There is no public uproar over its physical memorialization; most people ignore it as they amble through Wall Street. Through my research, I discovered that the Federal Hall we know today is historically a site where people have attempted to demand justice for the subjugation they face in their lives — but this phenomenon has been minimized from the building’s structure. The way in which people have encroached on Federal Hall over time will lead to a direct confrontation with the building’s materiality. With this in mind, I propose a deconstructed portico on the side of the building that will visibly remind people of their power to intervene in the struggle between the divider and the divided.