Yet, as Franklin Street's face changes with the economy, driven to meet the whims of what the constant stream of visitors, students and townspeople want and need, there is one constant: people's memories. For many Franklin Street was the site of their formative years and where they made their livelihood. It was home to their junior prom, where they felt the first inklings of civic duty, where they went to college, where they were somebody, where they raised their kids. This project is an attempt to capture some of Franklin Street's hidden history and create a space where those memories are caught and held.
Divided by the low stone walls characteristic of Chapel Hill, the University and Franklin Street sit side by side as two extremes. On one side is the quad, where Silent Sam stands watch and the Davie Poplar leans, as they seemingly always have. Though the sounds of construction fill the air, the campus remains ageless. Alumni return and are comforted by the consistency, finding safety in an unchanging space. But just beyond the piled fieldstones, lay Franklin Street, dynamic and in constant flux. It is a place of change, a stark contrast to the University's sea of stability.
I want to say this about Franklin Street: It is probably the single reason why I never left town ... It changed my perspective and I certainly formed my politics right here in Chapel Hill, right here on this street ... my perception of who I became and who I am today is completely tied up with Franklin Street. I could no more leave this, than I could cut off my right leg.