Saturday, March 21, 2015

Essex Crossing's 15 minutes of Andy Warhol fame are up

Executives of the Pittsburgh-based Andy Warhol Museum announced last night that they will no longer be moving forward with their plans to build a 10,000-square-foot annex to anchor the new Essex Crossing development.

In a statement to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Eric Shiner, director of The Warhol Museum, said:

"The Andy Warhol Museum, which had been exploring its participation in the Essex Crossing development in lower Manhattan, has determined that it will not proceed with the project. Despite the efforts of both the museum and the developers, an internal study of business and other operational considerations led the museum to this decision.

"The Warhol will continue to participate in programs, exhibitions, and special projects in New York City through its longstanding collaborations with a variety of New York-based arts organizations.”

The museum was to be in Site 1 of the former Seward Park urban renewal site … in the Broome Street municipal parking lot, a complex that will include condos and a bowling alley.

As the Post-Gazette reported last May:

Delancey Street Associates will pay for the cost of building the museum branch, which has a target opening date of 2017. For the first five years of the museum's existence, the developers will pay for any operating deficits.

For their part, a spokesperson for Delancey Street Associates, told the paper:

"For the past two years we have worked closely with The Andy Warhol Museum to find a way to bring Andy home to New York's Lower East Side. We have dedicated tremendous time and resources and offered them a very generous multimillion dollar package to make this work. We found out today and are surprised and disappointed that they are unable to see this through. We are hard at work looking for another exciting use for this great space."

And why did Museum leaders consider Essex Crossing a good spot for the annex? Per the Post-Gazette:

The location appears apt. When Andy Warhola moved to New York in 1949, his first apartment was in Lower Manhattan on St. Mark's Place. The Lower East Side, where the branch housing his art will be built, teemed in the 1900s with immigrants whose lives of assimilation and struggle paralleled the experience of Warhol's parents, Andrej and Julia Warhola.

Meanwhile, you still have the 14-screen Regal Cinemas theater with electronic reclining seats to look forward to at Essex Crossing.


Anonymous said...

When you have these institutions and museums coming, and then declining, you know it is over. Although I'm glad they decided against this idiotic faux Millennial World wet dream.

I mean look at the urban wreckage the New Museum has created since coming to the Bowery?

That's what the Real Estate Show, which premiered just down the block with Joseph Beuys and Collaborative Artists some 20 years ago, was all about. That's when the nabe had some really bad-assed artists, and Warhol was still around if not in spirit.

Anonymous said...

I am glad to hear the museum pulled out of the project. Perhaps all the negative reaction from the public finally influenced the decision-makers to reverse their decision.

Anonymous said...

It's too bad the Warhol museum changed their mind, but Andy Warhol wasn't a Lower East Sider anyway. A New York Warhol museum would be more appropriate on E. 57th Street.

Anonymous said...

Sad to see this go. The government mandated 14 screen movie theater is going to be a huge flop too. Just look at the cinema in Battery Park, it is empty on opening nights. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what the connection is to Warhol, but Essex Crossing seems well-intended, though it is a bit highrisey. It's supposed to be 50% for "low-, moderate, and middle-income" -- and the other 50% luxury -- which translates as 25% or less affordable. But do we really need the city giving away land for more luxury housing? I mean it has already destroyed our neighborhood. Why can't EC -- which is a huge project -- be more toned-down like, at least, Stuyvesant Town?

You can apply here:

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear it, why? Because that museum would have been a tourist magnet just like the high line which means more chain and corporate restaurants taking over the neighborhood. Warhol has museum elsewhere a second one in NY is overkill and an obvious ploy to get tourist money. I am thrilled they are out.

Jared said...

I can't recall chain restaurants near the High Line.

Anonymous said...

Essex Crossing is going to be a mall. It's a stupid idea in a stupid location. The Andy Warhol Foundation are smart and saw it for what it will be. If development has to go on it would be refreshing to have people that actually know something about the civic and cultural impact of this kind of building project. But the developers that have usurped the LES and bulldozed everything in their greedy wake are completely devoid of anything artistic or humanistic. The area doesn't need this just like it doesn't need Epcot theme restaurants and bars,bars, bars and banks on every single corner and NYU. I hope Essex Crossing fails.