Louisiana Tech’s School of Architecture Lecture Series welcomes John Fetterman, the mayor of Braddock, Pa., who will share an inspirational story of renewal and transformation on Tuesday, Oct. 21, at 6:30 p.m. in Wyly Auditorium.
The lecture is free and open to the public and CEU credits are available.
In its heyday, Braddock, an old steel town, had a bustling population of about 20,000 and boasted the first Carnegie Library. As with many towns and cities within the American “Rust Belt,” Braddock’s industries and its population (down to 2,912 in 2000) had uprooted and relocated to other places in recent years. Only poverty and crime remained to brand the town.
In a three-way race for mayor in 2005, Fetterman soundly defeated a two-term incumbent in the primary, and ultimately won the general election by a single vote over another life-long resident of Braddock. Fetterman, who was an Americorps volunteer in Braddock in the 1990s, continues to direct programs helping locals earn GEDs and find employment.
Fetterman’s efforts as mayor have also resulted in the creation of a large community center, a garden that now sits on what was once one of the town’s most over-grown and dilapidated areas, and an influx of activity and interest that is generating new opportunities for Braddock.
Fetterman sees Braddock’s plight as an opportunity. He believes that “destruction breeds creation” and that the “malignantly beautiful town” of Braddock offers an unparalleled opportunity for the urban pioneer, artist or misfit to be part of a new, experimental effort.
The School of Architecture invites everyone to experience this uplifting story for themselves. For more information on this event or future lectures in this series, contact Karl Puljak at 257-2816 or at email@example.com.
Written by Dave Guerin