Artist seeks public's help in restoring Defenestration Project


The quirky pieces of art are not hanging on a wall, it is hanging out of a building on Howard Street, and it's in desperate need of an update.

"I was initially told it would be able to be up for about six months to a year. So, it's rather astounding to me that it's been up this long," said artist Brian Goggin.

Goggin created the Defenestration Project 13 years ago. He took everyday objects like a couch and an armoire and dangled them out of the old Hugo Hotel at Sixth and Howard streets. The piece has become a tourist attraction and a source of pride for some locals.

"I see the Transamerica building, but the Defenestration Building is the one that stands out in my mind. It's unique, no other city has anything like it," said supporter Brianna Boedecker.

So when supporters heard Goggin needed help to refurbish it, they didn't hesitate. A fundraiser Friday night kicked off the effort to raise $75,000. Brandi Brooks signed up to specifically save the toaster that hangs out high above her head every day.

"I'm going to save the toaster because I live just a block away from here and so I walk by here a couple of times a day and I love it. It makes me smile every time I walk by it," said Brooks.

The building will eventually be knocked down. It belongs to the city and officials plan to build affordable housing here in a couple of years, but Goggin says he cannot just let his project continue to fall apart.

"If the piece is going to come down, I'd at least like to have the opportunity to say good bye to it in tact," said Goggin.

And to kick start the makeover, the artist rappelled down the side of the building Friday night, washed down a section of a wall, and hung a picture of a cleaned up, rebuilt chair. He hopes to hang real, rebuilt furniture within three months, if he can come up with real money.

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