OccupyDC: The Temporary Structure

They built it, but what was it?

In articles and tweets, it was called barn, shed, shelter, structure or temporary structure. Sometimes even “The People’s Pavillion” and the “OccuBarn.”

OccupyDC itself calls it a “prefabricated wooden structure”:

At 12am Sunday morning Occupy DC began assembling a prefabricated wooden structure that had been designed by professional architects and engineers to provide shelter, warmth and space for General Assemblies during the winter months.

Compared to the tents pitched in McPherson Park, it was big: about 15 feet tall. Big and obvious, and apparently far too big for the District and the National Park Service too ignore.

At 11am Federal Park Police arrived at McPherson Square to order that the structure be disassembled within the hour.

Negotiations in the afternoon led to an inspector visiting the structure. Within a few minutes, he declared it “condemned” and placed an orange sticker on the side. But OccupyDC contends that the building was both legal and safe. It complied with park rules “which require any structure to be temporary and easy to move.”

The thinktank Institute for Policy Studies tweeted: “The wooden structure was designed to comply with DC regulations, and meets the ‘temporary structure’ standards.”

The media had conflicting views about the building’s structural integrity.

The Washington Post deemed it a “makeshift shelter,” while the New York Times considered it “a sturdy, well-squared frame of boards and planks with the first few sheets of siding in place, [which] appeared to have been carefully designed and deftly, if hurriedly, built.”

OccupyDC attributed a symbolic meaning to the structure in its statement:

At a time when thousands of native District homeless struggle to survive in extreme weather conditions, Occupy DC feels that the structure makes a positive statement for equal housing opportunity and sustainable living.

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4 thoughts on “OccupyDC: The Temporary Structure

  1. Pingback: House Oversight Chairman Targets OccupyDC Camps « Cool Revolution

  2. Pingback: OccupyDC and the OccuBarn « Cool Revolution

  3. Pingback: Judge issues scathing rebuke to prosecution in OccuBarn hearing « Cool Revolution

  4. Pingback: OccuBarn Trial: Background « Cool Revolution

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