Monday, August 8, 2011

A Brief History of the Laneway

top to bottom: Street Cleaning Department - Lane Scenes, 1940s; Slum - Price's Lane - August 27, 1914;  Slum interior, Price's Lane - August 28, 1914.

A Brief History of the Laneway:

The laneway emerged from the 19th century Victorian alleys of London. These alleys, known as mews’, serviced the stately homes - acting as stables, and providing the servants with sleeping quarters. The laneway was a luxury, separating utility from the Victorian home (an object of immense psychosis).

In North America the laneway shows up in cities such as Chicago, Washington and Toronto in prolific quantities to deal with the emergence of mass-personal transit and the need tostore vehicles. Over time, these laneways were removed due to the growing population of slum-housing, and the public perception of the laneways as squalor-filled blots. Later, the boom of the 1950’s retrenched the importance of laneways within our urban fabric.

Currently the laneways are ignored as urban-space, viewed as utilitarian storage for vehicles and bric-a-brac. We propose that these environments are latent real estate, for which there is an untapped market both of supply and demand. We purpose that money can be made across the city with zero capital investment within weeks by individualhomeowners.

This is #makespaceTO

    - Geoff Christou, Andrew Azzopardi, Henry Murdock