Art Project Aims to Revitalize Fairbanks Hotel

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A downtown Fairbanks art project is aimed at tapping public emotion and creativity to revitalize an old hotel.  Two big chalkboards have been installed along the street level of the empty Polaris building.  The Alaska Design Forum funded project has brought New Orleans artist Candy Chang to Fairbanks.  Chang, who has a background in urban planning and graphic design, says the “Looking for Love Again” project is set up to remember the old high rise’s past, and explore its potential.

Chang says the chalkboard project, which is also supported by the Downtown Association,  provides a way for people to get involved and shape the neighborhood.  The 11 story Polaris is Fairbanks tallest building.  It has sat empty for the last decade, but a developer has been given tax breaks and is trying to raise funds, to restore it.  Chang says the challenges posed by old buildings like the Polaris, and their redevelopment, are a common one.

Comments posted on the two 8 by 16 foot Polaris Building blackboards will be logged and posted on a companion website.

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