We were working with Martin Roth on a major installation in the Newburgh City Club for the summer of 2019, but before we could open it Martin sadly passed away. The project is postponed until further notice.
We cancelled the Kickstarter campaign, but you can view the video above to learn more about the project.
The Newburgh "City Club" building is an important historic site originally built as a home in 1852 - now a ruin overtaken by nature. Inside is a jungle of plants and mature trees growing out the top of the roofless structure. It would already be amazing to open the doors of an abandoned building to find a secret garden... but this isn't any abandoned building! It happens to be designed by Andrew Jackson Downing and Calvert Vaux, and one of the last standing buildings by Downing - America's most influential landscape designer.
Downing was from Newburgh and lived just blocks from this site - and became one of the most prominent writers and tastemakers of his time. In 1850 he invited Calvert Vaux from England, and they began their collaborations on the White House and Smithsonian grounds. Unfortunately Downing died at a young age, but Vaux went on to famously design many major American parks with Frederick Law Olmsted, including Central Park, Prospect Park, and their final collaboration, Downing Park, named of course for their mentor and collaborator AJ Downing, also located in Newburgh.
Martin Roth iwas an installation artist whose work manifests in poetic interpretations of the sites he uses, creating a set of parameters in which the environment itself can become an actor or collaborator in the piece. Strongroom invited Martin Roth to come Newburgh and he was especially inspired by this site, not only for its incredible history, but also the immediate beauty of the structure being overtaken by nature.