This chapter discusses the physical spaces of the lofts, exploring how the surrounding environment afforded certain types of performer and listener experience. In contrast to architectural accounts of loft conversions for high-end housing—which often romanticize the industrial history of old factories—musicians' accounts tended to be largely devoid of nostalgia for a bygone era. Instead, descriptions of loft jazz venues generally focused on the creative possibilities enabled by the presence of large, raw spaces. By emphasizing the liberatory potential of blank space, rather than the nostalgic echoes of industrial place, organizers stressed underlying values of reclamation and community-building. The chapter goes on to consider descriptions that referenced markers of domesticity in loft venues, a factor that carried additional resonances in regard to gender politics.
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