26 December 2007

The Mall Squatters

From Good Magazine:
When the massive Providence Place Mall, in Providence, Rhode Island, opened up just steps from his home, artist Michael Townsend wanted to reconcile his distaste for the eyesore with his curiosity about his new neighbor. So he moved in. Townsend and seven other[s] established a makeshift apartment in an unused and apparently unnoticed 750-square-foot storage space within the building’s bowels. Beginning in 2004, the group’s members lived in their apartment-in-a-mall for weeks at a time, surviving on takeout from the food court. They did their best to emulate a real home, toting Crate & Barrel drawers, a china set, and a couch into their cinderblock-lined space. The collective's occupancy came to a premature end in October of this year when mall security busted Townsend after discovering an online video of the apartment... He was arrested just three days before he installed wood floors.