Downtown Alliance and NYC Department of Transportation Install ‘Secret Gardens’ on Chambers Street

Downtown Alliance and NYC Department of Transportation Install ‘Secret Gardens’ on Chambers Street

The Alliance for Downtown New York and the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) today announced the installation of Richard Pasquarelli’s “Secret Gardens” along the site of the Chambers Street road reconstruction project.

This 5-foot-high, 1,000-foot-long vinyl mesh installation of “secret” backyard and garden scenes is a joint project by NYC DOT’s Urban Art Program and the Downtown Alliance’s Re:Construction program, which installs temporary artworks at construction sites throughout Lower Manhattan. “Secret Gardens” is the second of three public-art pieces created by Pasquarelli for Re:Construction.
“Re:Construction is the best kind of public-private partnership, an ongoing opportunity for government, artists, curators, property owners and business people to work together to make something beautiful,” said Downtown Alliance President Elizabeth H. Berger. “It’s a win-win for everyone.”

“Richard’s masterful design creates an on-street gallery that instantly brightens the area during construction,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. “DOT’s Urban Art Program brings temporary artwork to enliven spaces like these, making them more livable and welcoming for residents, workers and visitors.”

The Re:Construction public-art program is produced by the Downtown Alliance and funded by a $1.5 million grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. Engaging, thoughtful and whimsical, the temporary artworks create colorful landmarks and brightened streetscapes as they help mitigate the impact of Downtown’s numerous building projects. The program began in 2007 and has produced 17 pieces, eight of which are up for viewing. BravinLee programs consulted on the three new installments for the Downtown Alliance.

The first portion of “Secret Gardens” was installed this morning on Chambers Street between West and Greenwich streets. The second half of the artwork, stretching from Greenwich Street to West Broadway, will be installed in late October.

“Presented with the challenge to create a 5-foot high by 1,000-foot-long construction barricade, I wanted to create something that would contrast with the seemingly endless expanse of concrete and wire,” Pasquarelli said. “As a jogger, I often catch glimpses of small private gardens hidden behind fences, hedges and ivy-covered walls. By introducing these private green spaces into an urban public environment, I hope to capture the imagination of viewers and transport them to a more serene and fantastical world.”

Images of “Secret Gardens” can be viewed at the Downtown Alliance’s Flickr page at
A video about Re:Construction can be seen at

By the end of this month, Pasquarelli’s artistry will be on display at three sites south of Chambers Street.. “Restore the View” is located at the site of CUNY’s Fiterman Hall project at Barclay Street, between West Broadway and Greenwich Street, and between Barclay Street and Park Place. And “Hours of the Day” will be installed later in October in the piazza of the W Hotel, 23 Washington Street at Albany Street. All of the works will come down when the construction projects are finished.
“These new installments by Richard Pasquarelli are worthy additions to the success of the Re:Construction program,” said David Emil, president of the LMDC. “We’re proud to fund these exhibitions and look forward to our continued partnership with the Downtown Alliance to ease the negative impacts of Downtown’s rebuilding projects.”

Pasquarelli’s paintings have been shown at The Miami Art Museum, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, The Chelsea Museum, Jersey City Museum and the Islip Art Museum. His work recently was acquired by the National September 11 Memorial Museum. He has exhibited in galleries in New York, Norway, Paris, Madrid and Los Angeles, and has work in many corporate, public and private collections throughout the world, including the Library of Congress, Bayerische Landesbank, General Dynamics Inc., the Zabludowicz Collection, MacAndrews and Forbes Holdings, Progressive Insurance, and Misumi Inc. Pasquarelli is preparing a solo exhibition to be shown in early 2011 at Salomon Contemporary in New York.

For more information on all Re:Construction projects, including high-resolution photos of installed projects, visit In addition to “Secret Gardens,” other Re:Construction installations are listed below. Asterisks denote existing pieces:

 Fiterman Hall: Restore the View*
 99 Church Street: Walking Men 99*
 56 Leonard Street: Rendering Leonard*
 Hudson River Park: Botanizing the Asphalt*
 50 Trinity Place: Poster Project at 50 Trinity*
 99 Washington Street: Flying Animals*
 East River Waterfront Esplanade, South Street: Fence Embroidery with Embellishment*
 Titanic Park, Fulton and Pearl streets: Water Movements
 West Thames Park, Battery Park City: It Takes Time to Turn a Space Around
 The Fulton Transit Center, John Street at Broadway: Best Pedestrian Route
 Fulton Street reconstruction site, between Broadway and Nassau: Fulton Fence
 Fulton Transit Center, Broadway between Ann and John streets: Concrete Jungle
 Goldman Sachs headquarters, 200 West Street: Untitled
 AIG building, 175 Water Street: Green Gate, Summer
 Street reconstruction site at Houston and Broadway: Houston Fence
 Louise Nevelson Plaza, Maiden Lane and William Street: Rainbow Conversation

Launched in October 2008, NYC DOT’s Urban Art Program brings the vision of the agency’s World Class Streets initiative to life by partnering with community organizations to install murals, sculptures and other art forms in plazas and on medians, triangles, sidewalks, jersey barriers and construction fences for up to 11 months on DOT properties citywide. Organizations or organization-artist teams are invited to apply to one of three Urban Art Program tracks—pARTners, Site to Site and Arterventions—that offer the public new ways to view and experience city streets through art. As part of the agency’s World Class Streets initiative, this installation and others under the Urban Art Program exemplify the agency’s ongoing work to recreate the public realm by recasting streets and sidewalks of New York City as safer, more inviting, attractive destinations for everyone.

For more information about NYC DOT’s Urban Art Program, visit