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Friday, October 29, 2010

Taking Casita Navarro to the Community

By Maureen (Mo) Brown, Casa Navarro site manager

Casa Navarro State Historic Site staff, Friends, and volunteers built a “Parque de Casita Navarro” as part of the two-day “First Annual San Antonio Park(ing) Day” event on Sept 17-18. The event was organized by the San Antonio Architectural Foundation as part of the international “Park(ing) Day” events that occurred in cities worldwide and in more than 140 cities around the U.S. parkingday.org.
San Antonio‘s standard metered parking spaces were temporarily transformed into innovative public open-space green parks for creative socializing. The event was located along the street from Casa Navarro, next to the popular Pearl Farmer’s Market.
We created “Parque de Casita Navarro” to include a specially built little house (“Casita Navarro”) for this occasion and to use in other outreach events. The little casa was made to be lightweight, transportable, and easily assembled by using two sheets of 8x4-foot plywood. One sheet was used for the house front (cut in half and hinged in the middle) and the other was for the roof, front door, window shutters, and porch floor. We also made a front porch railing.
In addition to the “casita,” our temporary park included a lawn of Astroturf loaned to us by the Via Metro staff, as well as flowerpots, benches, and traditional board games (i.e. chess and dominos) for the public to hang out, play, and enjoy our park. We also handed out brochures for Casa Navarro, Friends, and the THC. This was a great event to highlight temporary innovative green spaces and historic house sites as traditionally being green.
We had fun with our local partnering organizations in the process of creating the parks, sharing them with each other and the public, and getting drenched both days while dismantling our parks in a major rainstorm. We’re already looking forward to participating in next September’s Second Annual Parking Day event!
**Casa Navarro is located at the corner of S. Laredo and W. Nueva street in downtown San Antonio in the Texas Independence and Hill Country Trail Regions

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