Deconstruction Three Ways
Deconstruction in Action
Deconstruction in Action
Deconstruction in Presentation
Deconstruction Presented at the Miller Gallery and in Our Neighborhood
Make Your Own Gold
Deconstruction in Distribution as This Downloadable Activity Book


In 2005, a fire started in the kitchen of a parish house attached to a church on the corner of Jones and Hawkins Avenue in North Braddock PA. The flames burned through all three stories, damaging the roof and the structure. Shortly after the fire, the building was abandoned by its owner.
In 2008, the church building, the majority of which had not been damaged, was purchased by Caledonia Curry through the Alegheny Vacant properties Program. We helped Callie navigate that process, which cleared over a half a million dollars of back taxed and liens from the building's title, and we also worked together to meet several benchmarks that the County set as part of the conditional deed, including the removal of the condemend portion of the building. The bid to demolish the building was over $15,000.
Not only could we not financially afford to go ahead with traditional demo, but we were also becoming all too familiar with the sight of buildings being ripped apart by heavy machinery in our neighborhood.
Parish House Fire 2005 kitched fire
Researching other options, we found out about a conference in Buffalo on the topic of Building Deconstruction, also known as Green Demolition. We were extremely fortunate to be able to attend.
Deconstruction is the process of taking a building apart using minimal heavy equipment and conserving as much of the material resources present in the building as possible. The cost of Deconstruction is heavily weighted towards human labor, which means that it creates jobs as it also respects the environment and the history that is embedded in architecture.
We worked together for nine weeks taking down plaster, lath, mouldings and all non-loadbearing walls. We then hired a local demolition crew to finish taking the building apart while we cleaned and processed the bricks and wood for re-use.
leslie demo