A group of city officials and local elected leaders took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning for marking the end of the Astor Place/Cooper Square Reconstruction Project and the reinstallation of the Alamo/cube.
Officials then took the cube for a spin, as these photos via EVG correspondent Steven show...
As previously noted, plans for the $21-million, multi-year(s) project included reconfiguring/revamping the Astor Place/Cooper Square streetscape with new permanent plazas, additional seating, trees and a new design for Peter Cooper Park. (According to estimates, the city added 9,900 perennial plants and shrubs, and 60 trees.)
The cube is now free of the barricades that had surrounded it since its return on Nov. 1...
[Photo by Vinny & 0]
Updated 1 p.m.
From DNAinfo's coverage...
"We were able to take this area, reclaim some of it from the automobile, make it safer and more inviting," said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.
"This was a big project and I know, looking at some of the elected officials and the community members, I know it took a long time and there was a lot of disruption, and I thank them for their patience. But now we will have beautiful public space, new benches and trees, water mains replaced underneath."
And a few more photos via EVG contributor Peter Brownscombe...
Where was this "group of city officials and local elected leaders" prior to East 11th being gutted to make way for an upscale Marriott? I suppose they think it fits in with their Midtown South refurb.
I know its your purpose to publish EV news but I wish this story would go away already. The cube is a familiar object from better days but come on.
'Don't like it don't read it 11:18am. EVG's blog, he can post whatever he wants to post.
I bet these officials went out for a group breakfast on the city's dime right after the "ceremony" they apparently didn't inform anyone in the community about well enough if at all from the pic otherwise why was it only them there?
It was gone for YEARS. And they are doing a photo op with it? I'd be embarrassed to be involved with any aspect of the entire (re)construction project.
And people wonder and shout and scream about how a disgusting guy like Trump becomes president. Well, just look around at what's going on in New York. Do these people represent the voters or themselves or corporate interests? Just look at the entire Astor Project. It's a complete mess. The EV needs green space so they give us gray space. barren gray, uncomfortable gray space anathema to the reality of the community. So do we really have to wonderscreamhowl at Trump? He can't be any worse than our current abusive leaders.
I would never vote for a Trump, just like I didn't vote for any of our incumbents. We have to start someplace.
My criticism is directed at the powers that be that keep dragging out this sad little project for far too long and making too big a deal out of it, not at EVG for passing along news. This whole ordeal just smacks of "See, we are preserving what's vital and beloved about the East Village!" and other self-serving self-congratulating tone-deaf sentiments.
This was a Bloomturd project
Make Astor Place into a park with trees, bushes, lawn etc.
This concrete plaza looks like the business district of downtown Buffalo or Cleveland.
I like it. I'm glad it's back. Thank you for once again making something fresh and clean. I'm a conservative poor white guy. I'm happy giving credit where it's due. Thank you again.
I hope none of these local officials got a shoulder injury from patting themselves so heartily on the back.
They are soooooo happy to show up for the ribbon-cutting photo op (which will look *great* on their website/newsletter), but go to them for a run-of-the-mill issue and good luck getting anywhere.
I do agree that rot starts at the bottom, which is why I always vote in the primaries even at the lowest level. If some of these people got stopped early in the "game" then maybe we wouldn't have such lousy choices when it comes to the higher-level elections.
PS: I now reflexively avoid Astor Place b/c it's just another sterile, over-designed stuff for tourists and of course for the required "traffic calming" (and what a bad joke on all NY'ers that concept is!). The only saving grace at Astor Place is the Alamo and Jim Powers's mosaic work. The rest of it could be in downtown Albany.
Well Anon 6:36: Frankly I don't give a damn what you do. One less person clogging up the streets. It was to be expected that the bulk of the posters here would just vent their negative vibes. Nothing suits them unless it is the opening of a new cookie crumble shop, a new coffee bar that holds 6 mighty seats, etc etc etc. I keep advocating don't vote for any politician who has been in office more than two terms. Our ballot box should be the term limit box. Yes, like all municipal projects this went on for too long. You don't like Astor Place avoid it. Whatever gets your blood sugar rising.
I hate this place
Thrilled that it's back, even if they took away part of the street for a plaza that no one needs.
Hello... Why pick on Cleveland and Buffalo when you can walk 34 blocks north to the concrete business district of Time Square??
Oh come on, barely any drivers were using the chunk of street that got cut, but instead it was a clusterf*** for pedestrians during rush hour. Newsflash: Astor Place gets extremely busy. I'm glad there's more pedestrian space, although also would love a more park-y and less concrete-y look. Hopefully when the trees grow it will feel greener. Although not as green as I'd like, I still like it better than the old configuration of the area.
Just getting in from a very long day. What I need to know: has the cube been tagged yet? I won't be back in the hood til mid-next week. Someone should document the first defacement.
Downtown Cleveland refurbished their town square, removed roads and made a GREEN area just this year.
Astor place goes the way the East Village goes. The cube sat on an island that was risky to get to with cars coming from all directions you have to have your wits about you and know you life would be in danger just to touch it. Now it sits in a sterile corporate park in the shadow of over designed condo building and an 80's inspired Houston like (Death Star) corporate glass thing which looks like it fell to Earth from an alien junk barge.
'Not picking on Cleveland or Buffalo, just likening the current Astor Place to their business districts downtown which you've never been to (I have.) They are expectedly blah. Astor Place could've easily been a new park with trees, bushes, a lawn, benches etc.
Regarding commenters remarks on our local representatives, I'd like to share this story. When L + M Development mistakenly cut down a tree in my coop's backyard on 7th St., Senator Brad Hoylman (pictured in this piece's photos) reached out to my co-op to ask how he could help us. Senator Hoylman then organized a meeting between the co-op and L + M. This meeting was hosted and mediated by Councilwoman Rosie Mendez (also pictured). Thanks to Senator Hoylman and Councilwoman Mendez, my co-op and L + M arrived at an agreeable settlement. Our co-op couldn't be more grateful for their assistance and are certain the resolution to the destruction of our tree wouldn't have happened without their help. The ball got rolling when a co-op member was lucky enough to get on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Ask the Mayor segment. Paola Ruiz from the Mayor's office was instrumental in getting both the D.O.B. and the 9th precinct to at last record and respond to our complaint when our co-op had been unable to accomplish this on our own. Our co-op reached out to other local organizations and politicians who declined to support us; the Senator, the Councilwoman and the Mayor's office provided us with remarkable assistance.
To all the negative naysayers who posted here....wow....can't you be happy about anything?
Does anyone know what is going on right now in Astor Place? Suddenly there seem to be a series of decorated tents / huts going up. What's up?
I have already seem the amount of trash that has been thrown onto the plant beds. Does anyone take care of the grounds, trees, plants?
Yes, you're right. Our local pols can and will get involved with pothole" issues. But when it comes down to major issues like what to do with Astor place, they sadly follow the party line. What Mayor Bill wants, he gets. And they follow along like sheep or they get cut off. And why does this happen to the EV? It's because we have weak representation. If Astor was in the UWS/UES/WV/SOHO/NOHO it would never be such an ugly and wasteful use of space. WE NEED OPEN PRIMERIES. WE HAVE TO STOP ONE PARTY RULE. WE HAVE TO OPEN THE DEBATE.
So this is what these "group of city officials and local elected leaders" do best. WHERE is the representation of Lower East Siders by ANY of these "representatives"?
Congrats to the 7th Street co-opers on getting help with their tree, but can ANY of these "representatives" go a tad further, like restoring zoning restrictions lost under Bloom-Bucks and DeBlasio and landmarking neighborhoods in order to prevent over-building of high-density market rate "luxury" housing and the demolition of affordable middle-income housing, as is taking place on East 11th Street between 3rd + 4th Aves)?
It's soooo easy to pose for photo-ops and dance around the cube, but WHERE THE FUCK are these people where it MATTERS????
6:39am Downtown Cleveland has been spruced up in parts but it's still alot of blah open concrete spaces in the business district.
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