Utica Proud

weekly pick design # 5


This weeks pick design was for Utica Proud. Thought it was a good way to connect the two projects


Utica Planned

The Planned Parenthood, located in Utica, New York, was opened about 40 years ago. It’s currently named after Margaret Roberts, a former co-president/CEO, who has since passed away. A couple of years ago the budding was renovated to really push emphasis on security, privacy all while being fairly modernized to push the sense of comfort.

There’s no secret Planned Parenthood deals with nasty protestors on a daily at probably all of their establishments. These protestors make it a point to vocalize their disgust for Planned Parenthood’s practices. The most complained about practice would undoubtedly have to be abortion. However, what they fail to realize is that Planned Parenthood actually offers a wide range of services, not only for  women but men as well. Their services include, but aren’t limited to birth control distribution, emergency contraception (morning after pill), general health care, HIV services, LGBT services, men’s health services, patient education, pregnancy testing and services, STD testing, treatment and vaccines. In their blind loyalty to their ignorance, they lack the vision to see the bigger picture that is Planned Parenthood.Planned_Parenthood_logo.svg


Interview questions:

-what does planned parenthood mean to you?

-how do you personally feel about the protestors?

-what steps do you think can lead to more people becoming involved?

-do you ever have to emotionally detach yourself while working here?

-do you think there will ever come a day where planned parenthood and it’s practices aren’t questioned/protested?

Utica Night Life

Deja Vu


Deja Vu Bar & Lounge is a fun and exciting night life experience in Utica. An upscale bar with modern decor perfect for celebration or simply a night out with friends. Not only does is house one of the biggest bars in Utica, the establishment is filled with plasma screen televisions and a booming sound system to ensure the promotion of good energy. Deja Vu is also a great place for audiences 21+ being that they have a plethora of craft beers on tap. While Utica can be somewhat boring, Deja Vu switches up the norm.


Interview Questions:

Why did you choose to build a night club in Utica?

Why did you choose this location?

When curating the idea for Deja Vu did you take into account the Audience?

Are you planning on expanding or creating a sister club?

Why is Deja Vu important to the Utica night life?


The Body Building Mecca…

…Of Upstate New York

P6620036Body Alive is a fantastic gym for pros and beginners alike. They are well equipped with free weights and almost every machine you can think of, and staffed with helpful employees that want only to help every person that walks through their door to better themselves and reach personal goals. The community found inside Body Alive embodies Utica in every way possible. At first glance it may appear to be a dark forgotten dungeon, filled with metal, rubber, and fabric that would normally have no use, but is actually so much more. It is full of beautiful people, who while are complete strangers, share a common goal and respect for one another as they attempt to reach that goal. From new comers to the professionals (like the now Mr. Universe Melvin Ortiz) there is no judgment or air of superiority that one may find in other gyms. These self proclaimed “gym-rats” will teach you how these simple heavy bars can teach you a work ethic and gain true self confidence that is lacking in so many people today.

I hope to learn more of the history of Body Alive through an interview with the main man and owner some time soon. With questions such as:

  • Are you originally from Utica?
  • When did Body Alive open?
  • What made you want to open a gym?
  • Do you think that getting into the habit of going to the gym can teach a person anything, and if so, then what?
  • Do you think this gym attracts a certain type of person?
  • What makes you Utica Proud?

Oneida Square Trash Project

   Trashy Art

Another Person’s Trash is another Person’s Art

The oneida square Trash can project was created by Mike Ballman, a local pastor and cathy marsh, the local artist in residence. When pastor mike first came to utica, he noticed that the city was not in the best shape. He noticed that there was no employment in utica. Pastor mike wanted to help this cause, so he thought the best way to help is starting a social enterprise. His first attempt at this was to make t-shirts.

Unfortunately that idea didn’t work, so then he decided to make “Holy shih tzu: Dog waste removal”. That to didn’t work as great as he thought it  would.


So, pastor mike took time to listen to the community and noticed that the town had so much litter on the streets and not enough trash cans. Pastor mike liked this idea, however cathy made it better. She insisted on making the trash cans into art.



Cathy’s philosophy was that if the trash cans can get noticed, then the area will get noticed. Cathy is a firm believer in symbols so she started thinking of artforms that best fit for utica. She saw utica as this beautifully broken city. She put two and two together and decided to make the trash cans mosaics.


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Utica Public Library


Utica Public Library
An extensive history within books

The origins of the Utica Library begin in the year 1825, when a private subscription library opened its doors at the Broad Street offices of Attorney Justus Rathbone. Over the years, the library underwent several relocations throughout the city while steadily expanding its now extensive collection. Utica’s first free public begin in 1838 once New York state established school district libraries.  The growth of the city eventually brought a greater demand of services to the library, and calls for a new, permanent structure and location were made. Thomas R. and Frederick T. Proctor donate the land and W.P. White donates $1,000 to fund construction. The architectural design for the new building was created by Arthur C. Jackson of  Carrère and Hastings. On May 3, 1903, the cornerstone was laid. It opened on December 12, 1904, and over 25,000 books were transferred from the previous location on Elizabeth Street.

A 5 year renovation program from 1988-1922 brought about structural and aesthetic improvements to the overall building, including handicapped accessibility, skylighting, a new roof, and a drainage system. A computer system was also installed, allowing both patrons and staff to access the entire inventory of all public libraries within the Mid-York Library System. Other notable recent technological additions include a new phone system in 1993, the opening of the Computer Room in 2004, a fire alarm system im 2005, installation of a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system in 2006, and the addition of storm windows in 2008.

Interview questions

How do you believe the development of the library has affected the city of Utica?


What do visitors come most often here for? Any interesting stories or visitors?


What notable events are hosted here?


What is your favorite aspect of working in the library?


For a newcomer that just aquired a library card, what do you reccomend doing in here?


What made you decide to become a librarian?


I noticed there are many historical books kept under lock and key, but yet displayed in glass cases to the public. Is the public able to read them? Do they document the history of the city?


The library a rather unique, grandiose structure as compared to the rest of the city. Are visitors interested in the history of the library and how it came to be?
What in Utica makes you proud?