Virtual Mount Morris project
Portrait of a surfeited city nestled on the edge of immutable form—though such a statement does not conform to the rules of logic or the wisdom of experience. Cities do not rest; they either grow, develop, adapt—or they stagnate, disfeature, and ultimately lose the vigilance of the citizens who make it possible for them to stand the test of time.
Welcome to the Virtual Mount Morris project. The following renders are part of a larger endeavor to virtually recreate the downtown of Mount Morris, Michigan. The goals of the project are explicit: to present the city in a new light, allowing residents to witness its subtle and often overlooked character. Mount Morris is similar to many small towns in America’s Midwest, in that the beauty of the city is hidden in modernity, shrouded by the exhaust of fleeing automobiles. Virtual Mount Morris brings the city’s pace to a crawl- slow enough to capture the snapshots of form and function which photographs miss and everyday life ignores.
The hope was that people who have lived in Mount Morris their entire life will see the project and say, for perhaps the first time, “Isn’t my city beautiful”.
The next phase of the project, currently ongoing, will present a possibility of ‘what could be’. An attempt will be made to capture the potential for growth and change, unbounded neither by the restrictions of bureaucratic red tape nor the sense that the city isn’t worth changing.
Some of the final SketchUp renders were combined with Photoshop to produce lighting effects which were intended to bring an added sense of life to the still images.
Observe the trunk line which presently divides a crucial portion of the city center—might it someday be used not as a divisive element but as a component of integration? The potential for a future light rail network heralds the possibility.