Artist to Sell Amazing Enclave 

"There's going to be an awful lot of exodus," Mavroudis predicts of a general rebellion against the sometimes-staggering increases in the neighborhood. "When the city says the land you've built a life in is too valuable and you can't live there anymore, there's something wrong about that," he says, suggesting that formal appeals aren't likely to make much difference.

So he's listed the 2-acre property with neighbor John Girardi, asking for not quite a million dollars and knowing that only an unusual buyer will envision what he sees in the space: an opportunity to work inside a fantastical sculpture and live in a place that invites — and provokes — comment.

Mavroudis would rather discuss philosophy and art than the problems of government, and he channels his vigor into carving architectural ornaments that will soon embellish the Holocaust Museum. "I'm in here without doors, and my mind rushes out with clay," he says of the environment's stimulus for his work. "But I do not understand today. It's an outside world and I'm glad I'm in here." For now, at least.

This particular sanctuary might well be torn down by a buyer wanting to make a different domestic statement. Mavroudis accepts that possibility and shifts the focus forward. No matter what happens here, he says, his work will continue outside the city limits. But will the city be the same without Mavroudis? "What makes a city are people," he says — "that mosaic, that identity. With this kind of thinking, are there going to be openings for people to be a part of that?" — Deveron Timberlake



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