Art Installation in Boston Seaport District Highlights Housing Crisis

An art installation in Boston's Seaport District has spurred new debate over the city's affordable housing.

Set amongst new luxury apartments and high rise office buildings, Pat Falco designed a nod to the city's past.

"To bring it right in here and have it be a part of this it feels good," said Falco.

The artist made a mock-up for an old three-decker home that would have once housed immigrant families over the course of the city's history. The interior looks like a small living room, with wallpaper and photos commenting on how housing has evolved from multi family units to skyscrapers and condos that have priced others out.

"It's building housing for the working class to create mobility," Falco explained, "versus building housing for the upper class to trickle down."

This was not the 32-year-old's first work to comment on the housing challenges experienced by Boston residents. Two years ago, he built a structure in the Fort Point neighborhood to reflect on the Seaport's ongoing development.

"What we like about Pat's work is there is usually something quirky or humorous and then a deeper message," said Kate Gilbert, executive director of Now and There.

The public art curator selected Falco as one of six artists to receive a grant to create their pieces in a public space.

"I individually got priced out of Boston at a certain point," Gilbert said. "We need to keep working to make sure that the heart of Boston stays here."

Falco's work along Northern Avenue will be up through the end of the month. He hopes it encourages residents and people working in the Seaport to consider the issues faced by other neighborhoods around it.

"These conversations are happening all over the city, but they don't seem to be happening in the Seaport," said Falco. "So I just wanted to transport it here."

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