Monday, January 23, 2023

Worker bricks up tribute mural at the former P.S. 64/Charas site on 10th Street

A longtime EVG reader alerted us to the 10th Street side of the long-vacant former P.S. 64/Charas/El Bohio Community Center between Avenue B and Avenue C. 

As part of the effort to seal up the building, a worker used cinder blocks to cover part of a Charas tribute/LES history mural here — one that included part of a former doorway.

By early evening, work had stopped for the day...
So far, only one of the murals has been disfigured by the building work. 

The murals first arrived in late November ... a PIRAGUA art space initiative in partnership with by the Thrive Collective, Loisaida Inc., the Clemente, LES Community Concerns, MoRUS and La Plaza Cultural, among others.

At the end of 2022, Gregg Singer's nearly 23-year tenure as building owner ended. 

On Dec. 23, New York State Justice Melissa Crane ordered the foreclosure and sale of the building with a default, including penalties and interest totaling approximately $90 million. (You can read Crane's 20-page decision and order here.)

The order could send the property back to auction within 90 days.


Anonymous said...

Have crowbar will travel

Cary Robyn said...

I think we swiftly need to make a stronger case for what this building has the potential to be renovated into in the 2020s, explicating specific applications that can catalyze the creative productivity of this neighborhood, make a significant contribution to the city as a whole, and pioneer and publicize an innovative Prototype Green City Retrofit worthy of being emulated by urban planners around the world:

-- We could implement and expand upon Aton Edwards's clever and timely idea for developing a world-class Museum of the Counterculture in NYC. Stylishly brought to life here on the Lower East Side using the latest display technologies and stewarded with an authentic bohemian spirit, that concept has the potential to give Alphabet City a tourist attraction comparable to the Grateful Dead’s original plans for a "Terrapin Station" in San Francisco, as well as a research library and ecotopian resource center.

-- We can replicate the best of what the 3rd Ward makerspace in Williamsburg had enthrallingly set out to be, with part of P.S. 64 becoming a well-equipped communal workspace, craft guild apprenticeship program, skill share forum and small business incubator providing access to quality gear and education in practical crafts ...only, this time, operated from a building that won’t run the risk of being sold out from under the artists who had bought memberships, because it will belong to the community! Having a makerspace on-site can give us a fabrication facility and a handy talent pool for whatever we might want to assemble in the way of props for performances and rituals, models and displays to bring to rallies, festivals and campus presentations, and an opportunity for activists to weave connections with specialized skill sets and budding entrepreneurs who will be in a position to fund projects and land acquisition someday.

-- Some of the building’s large, open, high-ceilinged spaces are eminently well-suited to set up a demonstration vertical farm able to supply the neighborhood’s many restaurants and its residents with fresh, local, organic produce and culinary mushrooms, familiarize the general public with the vertical farm concept, and train young people in its operation so that these indoor urban farms can then be replicated as a source of local organic agriculture in many other neighborhoods and towns, and as a food source for intentional communities aspiring to "off-the-grid" energy and agricultural self-reliance. Skills learned here will let Generation Z bohemians who find each other in the populous city go on to create practical rural Eco-Futuristic Villages that can feed themselves, power themselves and support themselves with cottage industries.

-- I have suggested covering the building’s flat H-shaped roof with a canopy of greenhouses resembling Francois Schuiten's elegant design work for the eco-futuristic city in the story "The Cutter of the Fog" (once featured in Heavy Metal magazine, and appearing in his graphic novel compilation "Carapaces") and similar to Santiago Calatrava’s unrealized proposal for a "biosphere garden" atop the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. The building’s large multipaned windows could let us fill interior spaces in rooms facing the sun with many plants too, giving environmentalist groups a most appropriate setting for championing biophilic themes.

-- The cavernous basement of P.S. 64 could be turned into a major new performance space and dance hall as a 2020's successor to what Wetlands environmentalist nightclub was like in the 1990's. We could call our venue "THUNDERGROUND," in honor of young climate activist Greta Thunberg, aiming at having it become a popular hangout for Generation Z as it enters its college years and its young adulthood. Maybe adopt the Barbury Castle crop circle glyph as a logo, its triadic appendages suggestive of alternative energy sources and featuring a lightning spiral evocative of that name for the venue.

Cary Robyn