In 2011, The Imagination Station raised eyebrows, talk radio controversy and $67,000 on Kickstarter for a proposed public statue of Robocop that currently remains in production. What has appeared, in the empty lots adjacent to the Imagination Station’s location — two fire-damaged vacant houses facing Roosevelt Park — is 17-hole mini-golf “Urban Putt” course.
UP is a project designed and constructed by the Lawrence Tech sculpture class taught by professor Steve Coy. The course broke ground last October and held its kickoff Fall Classic in November. Though the initial project was only a three-month venture, the course remains as a permanent fixture and currently stands open for perusal and free play for those able to supply their own clubs and balls — but only the most gridiron of mini-golfers are likely to be using the course before spring.
Aside from a challenging course with holes designed around a derelict car, scattered piles of broken cement, and an abandoned couch — to name just a few — the site features sculptures, including “Salvaged Landscape” by Catie Newell, and “Empty Pavilion,” an installation by by a team of University of Michigan architects.
Alongside the course, the exterior of the Imagination Station and the adjacent abandoned hotel complex provide a canvas for street art by Hygienic Dress League and other notables. Fair play to Steve Coy and his cohorts, the Imagination Station, and all parties involved in the makings of a scene for Prime Directive: Fun.