Art and History on SRO Housing: Friday, 3/9, Northampton

image_pdfimage_print

Single Room Occupancy: 
Portraits and Stories from Northampton Lodging 1976 – 2016

Opening Reception | Friday, March 9th 5-8PM
Arts Night Out

Historic Northampton
46 Bridge Street
Northampton, MA

Northampton Lodging occupied an awkward place in town. Positioned just past Hampton Court, it marked the transition from the brightly lit storefronts, galleries, and restaurants of Main and upper Pleasant Streets to the less pedestrian friendly stretch of road that connects the city to the highway.

Initially constructed in 1967 as a dormitory for the now-defunct Northampton Commercial College, in recent decades, the property offered 58 single-room rentals with common kitchens and baths.

In the fall of 2016, the building was demolished and the newly constructed, yellow brick, Live 155 has risen in its place.

For the past two years, Cassandra Holden has been interviewing former residents of the Lodging and members of the community about what it was like to live in and/or interact with that place. The stories of camaraderie and mutual support stand in stark contrast to those found in the police blotter.

Photographer Paul Shoul got to know many of the former residents and captured thoughtful portraits of them just before they were relocated.

The exhibition, which will run from March 9th – June 10th, traces the waning years of boarding house living in Northampton and raises questions about how we enfold those at the edges of our community.

This project was made possible with the generous support of Way FindersNorthampton Arts Council, and Historic Northampton.