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Ogilvie transportation center was founded and built in 1911, which was made to replace the Wells Street station on the opposite side of the river. Frost Grang designed the building with influence from the Renaissance Revival. When the station was initially built it had nurses, baths, dressing rooms, and a doctors office. It was truly meant to be a place of transportation that could aid in any issue to arise during travel.

Digging for this dirt felt to be quite sketchy. I decided to dig at night around 9:50 PM before boarding my 10:40 PM train home. I also wanted to avoid the traffic of rush hour. The specific spot I chose to dig was from a planted tree in the courtyard of the station. I chose this instead of finding a spot where the rails touched the ground in the city because I pass by this set of trees everyday during my commute. So it is an appropriate representation of the journey I take everyday to SAIC. I became interested in the points that I pass by on a daily basis that I often, if not always pay no attention to. This soil has become a truly personal and emotional subject for me. The soil I chose to observe and source is all centered on my way of movement, and my commute. Having a Palestinian background the importance of soil, and land is immense, and the idea of taking soil from where I begin, and end my journey each day, to me connects to the displacement, and movement of the Palestinian people from their homes. The experience of digging soil has become a highly reflective venture for me, and an important process I wish to continue.


Soil is a marker, and a notation of space, and location. Digging soil from these places became in a way our way of making a mark on the city and quantifying experiences in Chicago. Taking the soil from places of experience becomes a way to preserve that history and those personal experiences. The soil in Chicago, and surrounding the city is diverse and full of history. It is this process of collection that has allowed for further exploration of separate histories of soil, and its location.


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