The Minster Mile: Reactivation of the Miami-Erie Canal as an Infrastructure of Place, Activity & Ecology

Butler, Grace, School of Architecture, University of Virginia
El Khafif, Mona, Architecture, University of Virginia

The Minster Mile is a series of typological operations to increase the vivacity, bring economic opportunity, and revitalize the ecological state of Minster, Ohio along its historic canal. Established in 1832, Minster was laid out on a mile grid due to its proximity to the Miami-Erie Canal, much like other towns along its route. The canal initially prompted economic growth by providing direct access to industrial, commercial, and cultural zones. However, its significance has decreased over time, resulting in neglect today.

The Minster Mile is comprised of typological operations occurring at various scales that emphasize experiential quality and formal connections to the canal and adjacent program. The operations follow the existing grid, while, vertically, paths connect its varying experiences. These paths enable parallel activity along the canal, for residents and visitors alike, and establish a link to neighboring towns, enhancing the canal’s role as an experience of multiple places. This framework is considered within different towns in relation to unique histories, therefore creating the canal as an infrastructure for activity, commerce, and ecology. The Minster Mile evokes a new perspective of one’s experience with the canal by transforming it into a place for community, history, and a celebration of all life.

MArch (Master of Architecture)
typology, place-making, infrastructure, grid, reactivation, canal, town, community, culture, village, bicycle path
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