Pioneer Works Press Presents CHARAS: The Improbable Dome Builders

As part of Second Sundays December, join Pioneer Works Press as we celebrate the soft release of CHARAS: The Improbable Dome Builders by Syeus Mottel, republished in partnership with The Song Cave.

In 1970 on New York’s Lower East Side, Chino Garcia, Humberto Crespo, Angelo Gonzalez, Jr., Roy Battiste, Moses Anthony Figueroa, and Sal Becker — “CHARAS,” as they called themselves — broke ground to construct a geodesic dome on a vacant lot beneath the Manhattan Bridge following a meeting with revolutionary architect R. Buckminster Fuller. Physically altering the housing conditions in their immediate neighborhood, the group sought to reclaim public space and develop programs for community autonomy. Originally published in 1973, this expanded edition acts as a record to highlight ways communities activate empty spaces before gentrification.

To commemorate the story’s republication, CHARAS co-founder Chino Garcia will be in conversation with early CHARAS adviser and founder of The Sustainability Lab Michael Ben-Eli. Moderated by architect and Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture Professor Nandini Bagchee.

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