Dallas to Brownsville

By Emily Axtman

This post is the first in a series on the La Hacienda Casitas and the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

Dallas to Brownsville

My name is Emily Axtman and I've been a bcFELLOW for 8 months at bcWORKSHOP, Since November, I've been working on the La Hacienda Casitas project, a low income housing development in the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV). I've been lucky enough to work on this project from schematic design through to the construction documents and am now following the project down to Harlingen (where the project is breaking ground in one week!) to be a part of the construction process first-hand. The idea behind these posts is to dig deeper into the design and construction process and to depict the project not ONLY through photo documentation, but also through the perspectives of the people who are on the ground making it happen: the community development corporation, the contractors and design team, the construction workers and the first residents. Additionally I'll be weaving in historical, statistical and cultural observations of the LRGV to shed light onto the life of "The Valley", as people here call it. As the narrative of life in the Valley and the La Hacienda Casitas unfolds through these posts, I hope to tell the story of this place, people and point in time.

Below is a first-look at the construction site in Harlingen — pretty barren. I tagged along with Eddie Salazar, the construction manager at the Community Development Corporation of Brownsville (CDCB) last Wednesday (7.17.2012) to check in on the condition of the site and status of the remaining items that needed to happen before breaking ground.

La Ha site 7.17