Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Happy No. 50 to the cube of Astor Place

[Photo from November 2016 by Peter Brownscombe]

The Alamo officially turns 50 today on Astor Place.

Some cube history via the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP):

On November 1, 1967, an 8′ x 8′ x 8′ 1,800-pound giant black cube was installed in Astor Place as one of 25 temporary public artworks by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. However, it was so popular that local residents petitioned the City to keep it, and except for its absences for restorations over the past few years, it has stood there ever since.

Bernard “Tony” Rosenthal’s sculpture was originally named “Sculpture and the Environment,” but was eventually renamed The Alamo by his wife, Cynthia Rosenthal, because its size and mass reminded her of the famous Alamo Mission in San Antonio.

GVSHP and the Village Alliance are hosting a birthday party today from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can do things like make your own cube from origami, eat birthday cake and take part in 50 continuous minutes of spinning the cube in an attempt to break the record and raise money for the GO Project. Find more details here.

Signing off with one little piece of recent cube history — that time in October 2011 when Agata Olek yarn bombed the thing...

[Photo by EVG reader Anne]


Anonymous said...

Never been a fan of that thing. Other than it's big and prominently situated, doesn't seem particularly expressive, meaningful or even noteworthy. Or even aesthetically interesting. Literally just a big black cube, nothing more. Then again I have always been bad at recognizing quote-unquote "art" LOL maybe someone can enlighten me.

Eden Bee said...

Those cubes are everywhere. The one in Portugal has fake birds perched on it. SO THEY WIN.

Anonymous said...

I walked past here a while ago as a state senator was talking at a crowd in front of this thing. Meanwhile, just a few feet away, police had the street in front of Cooper Union blocked off due to the murder that had happened just a few hours before. Surreal.

Word And Reason said...

"Let's meet by the cube." The starting point for many trips around the Village. Probably as popular as the clock in the middle of Grand Central. If you don't know where to find the cube, you're tourist.