The Building

To create the Irma Freeman Center for Imagination, we renovated an existing building in Garfield using green resources and recycled materials as much as possible.


On the first floor we have two rotating galleries to exhibit art, a small art reference library, a kitchen, an office, an educational center and workshop, one garage, storage space, and two bathrooms. We have also renovated one two-story apartment, and are are working on another.

Solar panels are installed on the roof of the building.  The front gallery and the apartment feature a radiant floor heating system and soy-based insulation.

We are committed to researching and facilitating the architectural infrastructure that will make the IF art center into a green building.  We recognize the critical need for more implementation of efficient green building design and renewable technologies, and want to explore in depth every possibility for efficient design and implementation of various renewable technologies.

Here are a few photos taken during the renovation process:


To view more photos, visit this photo album on our Facebook page, and this one! (Links open in a new window/tab. May require a Facebook account to view.)

Building Needs

In terms of renewable possibilities, we need a south-facing roof which is in good condition to house our Photovoltaic (PV) solar electric system as well as for possible solar hot water/space heating system or a space like a backyard where a pole mount could go to implement that type of system (however, that would cost a bit more but worth mentioning). Also south facing windows should be considered for potential passive solar heating/cooling design. Daylighting should be considered. It would be best if there was little to no shading (from neighboring buildings, trees, etc) as far as the PV system. Clearly, this is something to be designed in a holistic manner. Not only is this important in terms of potentially being carbon neutral and benign to the environment but we also want it to be aesthetically pleasing. We have consulted various Green architects on this project via the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA), the Buckminster Fuller Institute, Earthship Biotecture in Taos, NM and/or many others. The structure itself is a source of learning about ways to be green. It has also been cited many times that poorer neighborhoods tend to suffer the most from pollution, thus, making it incredibly appropriate to renovate a building in this area with green design and technology. From this building’s emergence, other structures around it may be motivated to implement various renewable technologies and efficient appliances and designs.