• Ananya Garg and Claire Summa

Epilogue/Prologue: A Reflection

Photo Credit: Ananya Garg

Hey there folks, this is Ananya & Claire, the interns of Where the House Was. We recently got to be a part of an event at Hugo House called Epilogue/Prologue, a farewell to the building. We helped gather stories through our confession booth, a quiet little room where guests shared memories of Hugo House. Ryan Adams our director, Luke Sieczek, our cinematographer, and Dan Murray from NBBJ, the architect firm responsible for the new building, set up the audio equipment in order to capture these stories for the film. We weren't sure how popular the booth would be, but we ended up with a line out the door full of wonderful people with all kinds of stories to tell, and they were eager to tell them!

These memories also appeared on the walls, written by the attendees.

It was so inspiring to see everyone’s memories and thoughts. Just walking through, we could see the years and years of thoughtful dedication put into this building to make it what it has become.

The atmosphere was marked by a general reminiscence of the good times with good friends. One piece of writing on the wall that stood out to us simply said “I met my best friends here.”

That note summed up the feeling that carried over the evening. Because we are still relatively new to this crowd, we got to see the evening from both an insider’s and outsider’s perspective. We didn't grow up at Hugo House like Maddy, we didn’t make the friends who will last a lifetime there. We joined this project because we believe it embodies an important message about gentrification and the power of place. But we don’t possess that same connection that Frances, and many of the people who have been coming to Hugo House for so long, have. We experienced secondhand emotion; we understood the mutual feelings being shared around us but couldn’t empathize completely.

This event put into perspective the amount of love that has gone into Hugo House, and brings that much more sorrow to the idea that this building won’t be around for much longer. Especially now with the beautiful messages and drawings that now adorn the walls. All good things must come to an end and we are grateful that we can appreciate Hugo House in its numbered days. We’re happy for the opportunity to be involved with Hugo House through this film. We are thankful for our remaining time with Hugo House now that we have seen the effect it has had on people. The reason we’re involved with Hugo House is because we’re working on a film centered around its demolition (among other things). If only we could have become involved with this place on better terms.

The Capitol Hill Times wrote a great piece about the Epilogue/Prologue event, read it here