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UnMaking Public Housing Towers: The Role of Lifts and Stairs in the Demolition of a Puerto Rican Project

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Home Cultures
Issue number2
Number of pages30
Pages (from-to)167-196
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Through the case of a Puerto Rican public housing project, Las Gladiolas, this article argues that demolitions should be understood as long-term physical and emotional processes of home un making. It focuses on the diverse appearances of lifts and stairs in public housing representations, residents' everyday life, memories, and legal arguments to tell a nuanced story about their meaning and materiality in the un making of home. Drawing together strands from critical geographies of architecture, geographies of home, and emotional geographies, these internal building technologies are approached as active mediators in the way personal and communal life was negotiated and remembered, as well as in the anti-displacement struggle unfolding in the final throes of the buildings' existence. The loss of home through long-term deterioration and displacement is situated in its historical and cultural context, since the island's public housing trajectory has been continually framed by dominant national aspirations of homeownership.