Downtown Alliance Will Transform Five More Construction Sites Into Canvases for Public Art

04/01/2011
Downtown Alliance Will Transform Five More Construction Sites Into Canvases for Public Art

The Alliance for Downtown New York is installing five new works of public art this month at construction sites in Lower Manhattan as part of its innovative Re:Construction program. Engaging, thoughtful and whimsical, the temporary artworks are creating colorful landmarks and brightened streetscapes as they help mitigate the impact of Downtown’s numerous building projects.

Launched in 2007 by the Downtown Alliance, Re:Construction is improving the appearance of Lower Manhattan from Houston Street to the Battery. It received a $1.5 million grant in 2008 from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation for about 30 projects over three years.

“Think of Re:Construction as an intervention to create a cheerful and welcoming environment in the midst of an urban renewal,” said Elizabeth H. Berger, President of the Downtown Alliance. “Lower Manhattan is in the middle of one of the greatest construction periods the nation has ever seen, with more than $30 billion worth of projects on 190 sites south of Canal Street alone.

The volume of this work is a long-term blessing that can often seem like a short-term nightmare. “As Re:Construction grows and flourishes, the Downtown Alliance is especially proud of the groundbreaking collaboration that has developed among artists, curators, building owners and business people to create public art for construction sites,” Berger added. “We’re particularly grateful to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation for its generous support.”

Said David Emil, President of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation: “Re:Construction is an inspirational example of how we can turn ordinary barriers into lovely canvases that elevate the mundane experience of navigating urban construction sites. We are thrilled to fund the addition of five more temporary art sites. They will bring a continued sense of renewal to Lower Manhattan as we move forward with our various rebuilding and community enhancement initiatives.” He noted that Re:Construction will remind residents, workers and visitors that Lower Manhattan is evolving into a 24/7 live-work-play community.

“I’d like to thank Governor Paterson and Mayor Bloomberg for their leadership in providing this funding,” Emil said, “and also praise our friends at the Downtown Alliance for their continued partnership in helping to improve the quality of life in Lower Manhattan.”

The Downtown Alliance has teamed up with four renowned arts consultants—BravinLee programs, Abby Messitte, ADA Art Consulting and CoLab—to identify artists for the sites. Installation of the five new pieces will be complete by the end of January, bringing to 15 the total number of public art installations the program has created.

The new locations are:
• East River Waterfront Esplanade, South Street.
• 99 Church Street
• West Thames Park, Battery Park City
• Fiterman Hall, Borough of Manhattan Community College
• 56 Leonard Street

Renderings and information on the new installations can be found on five separate fact sheets included in this media package. To download high-resolution renderings and photographs for publication, please visit our Web site at www.downtownny.com/reconstruction.

Previous projects have been installed at:
• The Fulton Transit Center, John Street at Broadway
• Fulton Street reconstruction site, between Broadway and Nassau
• Fulton Transit Center, Broadway between Ann and John streets
• Goldman Sachs headquarters, 200 West Street
• AIG building, 175 Water Street
• Street reconstruction site at Houston and Broadway
• Louise Nevelson Plaza, Maiden Lane and William Street
• Hudson River Park
• 50 Trinity Place
• 99 Washington Street