The Putting Lot began as an investigation into the potential of activating empty spaces in the city. Located in Bushwick, Brooklyn, the project occupied a previously vacant lot. With the help of co-director Rachel Himmelfarb and over 50 volunteers, the vacant lot was transformed into an ‘urban sustainability’ themed mini-golf course and event space, open to the public for four months during the summer of 2009. The choice of mini-golf was an attempt to fill the void in affordable recreation in the city and to draw a diverse population to engage in the project.
The concentration of unused spaces in the industrial neighborhood became particular pronounced during the recession. At the same time, land use became more flexible as speculative real estate slowed. The Putting Lot seized on this unique moment to challenge what vacant spaces could be used for and to make the process of reimagining these spaces accessible to city residents.