Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space
The Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space (MoRUS) is a living archive of the Lower East Side’s squats and gardens. It is located in C-Squat, a historic punk squat at 155 Avenue C (Loisaida) in the East Village of Manhattan, New York City. The museum, which runs neighborhood tours highlighting the efforts of local residents and organizations to clean up vacant lots and fix up abandoned buildings for community use, also promotes scholarship of grassroots urban space activism by researching and archiving efforts to create community spaces. The exhibitions feature materials that document these actions in order to educate people on the political implications of reclaimed space.
East Village neighborhood activists began planning the museum in May 2011 and opened it with public tours in October 2012. The building was constructed in 1872 and thus is a pre-Old Law Tenement. The building formerly housed a pickle shop and a Republican meeting hall, and began being squatted by some of its current inhabitants in 1989.
The museum's storefront displays materials such as photographs, posters, zines, underground newspapers, comics, banners and buttons that show how local residents cleaned up vacant lots and buildings in the area and made them organizing spaces for the community.
The museum offers three public walking tours that lead participants to the East Village’s most legendary community gardens, squats and sites of social change and explain their complex and often controversial histories. Tour guides are generally longtime activists, squatters, gardeners, academics and journalists who were directly involved in some aspect of the neighborhood that is relevant to the museum.
- Community gardening in the United States
- Crowdrise Fundraiser
- Squatting in the United States
- Official website
- Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space on Twitter
- Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space on Facebook