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Detroit Theater Organ Society – July 2019 Update

The biggest challenges the Detroit Theater Organ Society faced to transform this vacant lot were the profoundly compacted dirt in the space and the lack of a water source inside it. The question became, how to make the space beautiful and inviting without tilling and extensive planting that would be difficult if not impossible to maintain?

The answer soon became clear. MULCH!








On Saturday, June 1 a rotating crew of about 20 people participated in the effort to freshen the look of the space using wheelbarrows, rakes, and buckets. The mulch mountains were enjoyed the most by our youngest volunteers!












Artist Scott Ferguson, as part of the Ours Film Festival, put the finishing touches in his mural later that day. He took his inspiration for this mural from the Senate’s Mighty Wurlitzer theater pipe organ console, pictured below.









Thanks to the DetroitNeighborHUB program the Detroit Theater Organ Society was able to schedule one epic Saturday in which long-time members and new friends gathered to transform the former home of the Senate Coney Island. Eight hours of labor, 60 cubic yards of mulch and an incredibly talented muralist made a huge impact.

Jordan Garland, the organizer of the Ours Film Festival, put together this short video featuring highlights of all the action.

The following weekend, we took the Senate Coney Island Yard for a test ride. Moped, motorcycle and bicycle riders converged on the Senate for a 50th Anniversary screening of Easy Rider.

One thing we learned was that motorcycles are too heavy to park on mulch, but they look great in front of the theater.








We were still missing one thing. We needed to replace the eight foot tall, barbed-wire-topped fence. Neighboring business owners strongly recommended that we replace the fence with something secure yet attractive. So we did!









Starting at Easy Rider, we’ve been asking guests for input on what they can imagine happening in the Senate Coney Island Yard and are continuing to gather ideas and recommendations for activating and making the space available. Immediate next steps include addressing the gap between the fence and the sidewalk and purchasing picnic benches.