Legend tells that Harding and Son’s Windmill, operating during the 18th-century on a once-existing island between Camden and Philadelphia, is buried under Camden. During low tide a sandbar from what is now Coopers Poynt Park formed a land-passage directly to the island critical for transporting goods, helping first make Camden a vital hub. Camden abounds with lost history. RCA Victor recorded the 20th-century classical and jazz greats; many original vinyls in its Cooper Street warehouse were dumped at the shoreline in 1971, along with the building which housed them.
With Camden Turntable, the discarded is unearthed, reconsidered. At Coopers Poynt Park, a wind-powered beacon becomes a shoreline focal point. Using wind energy captured by thousands of cut two-liter soda bottles, a cylinder spins above a ring of scaffolding. Inside, a lightweight dome of discarded plastics, with oculus open to sky, forms a space to contemplate the cycles of Camden’s history and potential energy ahead.
Amanda Schachter and Alexander Levi are principals of SLO Architecture, a design practice based in Long Island City whose projects link realms of urban and architectural design with artistic production and social action, bringing together multiple partners, including local practitioners, youth, mentors, fabricators, and public officials. Among other awards, Schachter and Levi are 2014 Urban Urge Award Winners, 2013 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellows, 2012 AIA NY New Practices Winners, and two-time recipients of the James Marston Fitch Foundation’s Blinder Award. They are co-editors of City of Cycling and contribute frequently on public space in the urban context.