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Carving Memory

I have focused on the role of architecture as an object that records experiences and emotions. Harlem is the birthplace of diverse Black cultures, layers of cultures have been erased as time goes by. Although lots of events take place in buildings, they are not often highlighted. 316 W 115th Street is currently a private residential apartment, but in the past, it was used as the African American Wax Museum. In 1981, Ravin Chanticleer purchased the building and made wax figures of Black Heroes to teach Harlem’s citizens about Black identity. Over time, many forums and tours held in the building disappeared, leaving the building as just another building in the city. In honor of what Ravin Chanticleer did for Harlem’s black community, I want to combine the building’s history with a porch to honor what took place there. Bringing the history out and showing it again will create cultural identity on W 115th St that has become the ordinary street, recreating memories and emotions while respecting Ravin Chanticleer and the Black community. This will create another new layer of identity for new generational and cultural recollection for those who experienced the African American Wax Museum in the past.