On Sunday December 4, 2016, NiS+TS presented “Walking the Debris Field: Towards Pier 6”, a public art/ walking event in the area of Halifax closest to Ground Zero. This event led walkers into the industrial, commercial and militarized context for the Debris Field.
On a bitingly cold and blustery afternoon close to the 99th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion, walkers convened at Veith House (3115 Veith Street), then visited nearby “house holes”, depressions left by the foundations of houses that were destroyed in the blast and never rebuilt. From there, walkers traveled below Barrington Street, through the Irving Shipyard to get as close as publicly accessible to the site where the Mont Blanc fatally exploded, the eponymous Pier 6.
Alongside the massive Irving Shipyard assembly hall, participants were able to witness how the construction of massive concrete retaining walls has created a new urban morphology on the blasted slopes of Richmond. This spot is also near the former site of the Richmond Train Station, where train dispatcher Vince Coleman worked and delivered his final heroic message. Participants then stopped on Veith Street to watch the burning of an architectural model of the Richmond Train Station signal house. Concluding the walk, Crystal John welcomed the group into the vibrant Mulgrave Park neighbourhood, speaking about the community and its feature murals recently done by artists from Blackbook Collective.
For a detailed itinerary and map of the route taken on this walk, please view the informational brochure: “Walking the Debris Field – Towards Pier 6”