Showing posts with label Astor Place cube. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Astor Place cube. Show all posts

Friday, May 6, 2022

Spin city: The Alamo remains out of commission on Astor Place

As you likely noticed in recent months on Astor Place, barricades have surrounded the Cube — aka the Alamo — since late last fall.

A spokesperson for the Village Alliance told us this earlier this year: "The Cube, unfortunately, needs some repairs to its base. We are working with the DOT to get it in tip-top shape." 

We're told that the spinning mechanism for the 1,800-pound cube, which manually rotates around a pole hidden in its center, is not working.

A DOT spokesperson told us that workers installed "the temporary in-house fabrication and support" for the cube on April 27.
And next?

"We are completing the painting for phase 1 and the barriers will then be removed," the DOT spokesperson said. "No timeline at this time for the second phase."

So there won't be any spinning of the cube for the foreseeable future (despite the annual lubing of the cube)...

 

Tony Rosenthal created the Alamo, then titled "Sculpture in Environment," .... and it arrived here on the south side of the Astor Place subway entrance in November 1967. Read more Cube history here. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Free the Cube!

We've fielded some queries about the Cube — aka Alamo — on Astor Place ... mainly: Why is it surrounded by barricades?

We reached out to some Astor Place folks to see what might be happening here. To be continued (maybe!). 

Photo by Steven; H/T to Ada!

Friday, September 24, 2021

Looking at the estate sale of Tony Rosenthal, the sculptor who created the Alamo on Astor Place

Fans of the Cube — aka Alamo — on Astor Place may have an interest in gawking at this. (Thanks, Lori!)

There's an estate sale tomorrow featuring the work of Bernard "Tony" Rosenthal, the American abstract sculptor who created the Alamo. He died in 2009 at age 94. 

Per the sale notice: "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to own pieces from his private collection amassed in his Southampton, N.Y., home and studio over several decades."

The sale includes some prototypes of the Cube, which are expected to fetch $4,000 to $6,000. 

And some cube history via Village Preservation:
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
  Pic from the archives by Peter Brownscombe

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

About the Alamo spinning again without barricades on Astor Place



Today is the 1-week anniversary of the refurbished Alamo's return to Astor Place.

The fencing has remained up around the cube, prompting some questions, like, What's up with that barricade?

Sandwich board signage arrived yesterday with an explanation...



The sign notes that "there remains a final phase of onsite restoration needed." Then! "Once complete, the barricades will be removed."

This will also allow city officials more time to find the REAL cube.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

[Updated] The Alamo returns tomorrow (Wednesday!)

According to this community advisory anyway (via an EVG reader) ... no mention of what time, though, for this blessed event...



These bulletins have been wrong at least once, when the city said the cube would be back on June 22. The Parks Department then announced that the Alamo was "being inspected by a conservator for final preparation," and that the return would be delayed until August. And then September.

The return, if does indeed happen tomorrow, will coincide with the first Astor Alive! Festival happening this weekend.

Workers packed up and carted off the Alamo for safekeeping for the duration of the Astor Place-Cooper Square reconstruction back on Nov. 25, 2014. The cube was installed here in 1967.

Updated 9/14
AARRGH...



Previously on EV Grieve:
The Alamo returns to Astor Place this Halloween

Five years later, Astor Place apparently ready for its 2-year reconstruction project

This is what it might be like living inside the Alamo on Astor Place

RIP Tony Rosenthal, the sculptor who created the Astor Place cube

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

[Updated] Workers are putting in the foundation for the return of the Alamo



We spotted workers digging a foundation on Astor Place this morning.

Is this for the base of the Alamo, the sculpture that is expected to return this month?

Yes!

William Kelley, executive director of the Village Alliance, confirmed the nature of the work to us via email.

And when will the cube be back?

"The City has not given a firm date yet for its return," Kelly said. "Soon though we hope!"

Workers removed the Alamo for safekeeping for the duration of the $16 million capital improvement project on Nov. 25, 2014.

Updated 8/11

And a look at the Alamo space this morning...



Previously on EV Grieve:
The Alamo returns to Astor Place this Halloween

This is what it might be like living inside the Alamo on Astor Place

RIP Tony Rosenthal, the sculptor who created the Astor Place cube

The first of Jim Power's restored mosaic light poles has returned to Astor Place

Friday, June 24, 2016

Looking at a cube-less (still) Astor Place


[Photo by Vinny & O]

The weekly Astor Place Construction bulletin (PDF) issued last Friday revealed that the Alamo would return on Wednesday to Astor Place...(Workers packed up and carted off the Alamo for safekeeping for the duration of the reconstruction back on Nov. 25, 2014.)



Perhaps city agencies all didn't confer on this. Despite this news bulletin inclusion, the Parks Department came out on Monday with an announcement that the cube wouldn't return until August, as amNY first reported:

Although there were fliers posted in the Village that gave a June 22 date for the art piece’s re-installation, the agency said it is being inspected by a conservator for final preparation.

“NYC Parks has historically contributed its expertise to the upkeep of the Cube,” Parks spokeswoman Maeri Ferguson said in a statement.

So, until August, please enjoy the ghost cube sticker... it doesn't spin, though...





Also, as we first reported on Tuesday, the first of Jim Power's mosaic lamp posts was put back in place, nearly two months ahead of what was expected.


[Photo via an EVG reader]

By the end of the day, workers wrapped up the light pole... which makes sense given that this is still an active work zone... (still curious about the timing on this pole's return...)



Also! The Astor Place Subway Plaza for the uptown 6 is coming together... workers have planted trees here...to replace the ones that got chopped down in October 2013...





Still no official word when all the reconstruction work will finally be complete on Astor Place and Cooper Square.

Previously on EV Grieve:
The Alamo returns to Astor Place this Halloween

Five years later, Astor Place apparently ready for its 2-year reconstruction project

This is what it might be like living inside the Alamo on Astor Place

RIP Tony Rosenthal, the sculptor who created the Astor Place cube

Sunday, June 19, 2016

[Updated] The Alamo returns to Astor Place on Wednesday (unless it rains)


[Image via the Village Alliance]

After being in safekeeping the past 19 months, Astor Place's centerpiece — the Alamo — will return for re-installation on Wednesday.

This welcome news comes courtesy of the weekly Astor Place Construction bulletin (PDF) issued on Friday...



Note that the rain date is June 29. (The forecast does NOT call for any rain at the moment.)

Officials had been vague about an exact return date (June/early summer) until now.

Leading up to its return, the Village Alliance is holding a Creativity Cubed event at Astor Place through Tuesday.

Per the event notice:

Alamo Cube fans, young and old, will have the opportunity to craft and design their very own mini spinning Alamo Cube, and create new memories and stories for the future.


The return might come as a relief to some (parody accounts)...


As you know, the area around the cube has been undergoing a reconstruction these past few years. No word on when it will all be officially complete.

And the Alamo won't be the only familiar installation to return. BoweryBoogie reported on June 13 that part of Jim Power’s “Mosaic Trail” will also return to Astor Place later this summer.

Workers packed up and carted off the Alamo for safekeeping for the duration of the reconstruction back on Nov. 25, 2014. The cube was installed here in 1967.

Updated 6/21

The Parks Department is now saying that the Alamo won't return until August. Per amNY:

Although there were fliers posted in the Village that gave a June 22 date for the art piece’s re-installation, the agency said it is being inspected by a conservator for final preparation.

“NYC Parks has historically contributed its expertise to the upkeep of the Cube,” Parks spokeswoman Maeri Ferguson said in a statement.

Previously on EV Grieve:
The Alamo returns to Astor Place this Halloween

Five years later, Astor Place apparently ready for its 2-year reconstruction project

This is what it might be like living inside the Alamo on Astor Place

RIP Tony Rosenthal, the sculptor who created the Astor Place cube

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Alamo has been away from Astor Place for 1 year now


[Photo from last Nov. 25 by John M.]

One year ago today, workers packed up and carted off The Alamo for safekeeping for the duration of the reconstruction of Astor Place. (Gothamist captured the moment on video.)

Anyway. One year later. And the cube, which was installed here in 1967, remains in storage somewhere.



Well, except for on Halloween...


[Photo by 8E]

The CB3 website has a page dedicated to local construction projects, including the reconstruction of Astor Place. Plans for the multi-year(s) project have included reconfiguring/revamping the Astor Place/Cooper Square streetscape with three new permanent plazas, additional seating, trees and a new design for Peter Cooper Park.

There's a link to a weekly bulletin (PDF), noting what's happening now. This week, workers are continuing to install new granite slabs in Peter Cooper Park...



Sidewalk excavations/installation continue on Cooper Square West...



... and well as new sidewalks along the Cooper Union building...



While there is noticeable progress, it still seems like a bit of a mess...



However, there isn't any word among the city updates about the status of the cube. A "community advisory notice" dated Oct. 21, 2104, notes:

The Alamo Cube is slated to be removed and hoisted off by crane from the site and transported to a storage and conservation facility for rehabilitation by the end of the year. The exact timing and details of the removal are still pending. Once confirmed, further details will be provided. After rehabilitation is complete, the Alamo Cube will be reinstalled into its rightful place, along the new Alamo Plaza.


[A rendering of the new Astor Place]

We haven't seen anything about a possible completion date. The CB3 site still lists August 2015. A reconstruction project page via the Cooper Union Library on Facebook says January 2016.

So might as well pull up a comfy chair and just enjoy the rest of the construction...



Previously on EV Grieve:
The Alamo returns to Astor Place this Halloween

Five years later, Astor Place apparently ready for its 2-year reconstruction project

This is what it might be like living inside the Alamo on Astor Place

RIP Tony Rosenthal, the sculptor who created the Astor Place cube

Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Alamo returns to Astor Place this Halloween


[Photo by Vinny & O]

Back apparently for a one-night-only appearance this Halloween... workers removed the Cube last Nov. 25 for (apparent) safekeeping during the never-ending reconstruction of Astor Place.


[Photo by 8E]

... and the Cube moves...

Friday, November 28, 2014

Looking at a Cube-less Astor Place



On Tuesday, workers carted off the Alamo from Astor Place… for safekeeping during the reconstruction phase.





No word how long the cube will be in storage. But it will return as the centerpiece for the all-new Astor Plaza…



The cube was installed here in 1967.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

There goes The Alamo



Well, no wonder the Alamo was back in plain view on Astor Place... EVG reader John M. just got a quick shot of workers carting off the Cube on a truck ... apparently for safekeeping during the reconstruction of Astor Place.

And here's a little video action via Gothamist...

The Alamo comes back into full view


[Michael Paul Photography]

On 15, workers boarded up the Alamo to protect it during the reconstruction of Astor Place... the cube is now temporarily back into view... just mind the backhoe ...



Updated noon:

And now the whole thing is gone.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Remember the Alamo



While walking around Astor Place this morning... we were thinking that the crawler excavator was awfully close to the Alamo, aka the Astor Place cube... where work continues on the reconstruction of Astor Place...



Maybe someone else noticed...because workers later put up protective plywood around the Alamo for now...



And some day... the area will look like this...



Previously on EV Grieve:
Five years later, Astor Place apparently ready for its 2-year reconstruction project

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

This is what it might be like living inside the Alamo on Astor Place




Per the clip that appeared Monday on YouTube:

Dave is a creative writer who lives inside the iconic Astor Place Cube in New York City. The cube's 8X8 panels add up to 64 square feet which adds up to 512 cubic feet. For Dave, who is 5'8", that is plenty of space to move around, write, cook, sleep, work out and even play guitar. Dave uses a bicycle generator to power up the lights and a handful of electronic gadgets.



Cute enough, though it's not for real... per Business Insider:

The video appears to be an elaborate advertisement for WHIL, a company that promotes meditation in the business community, started by Lululemon Athletica founder Chip Wilson and his wife Shannon (a logo for WHIL appears at the end of the video.)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Analyzing Astor Place's mystery artwork

Well, this was sitting by the Cube this morning at Astor Place. (Via Twitter around 8 a.m.)



Another angle via @bomarrblog...



Guesses at what this is supposed to be included... Ziggy, a Cheeto/Cheeseball, a nipple and a gift for Emperor Palpatine.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

[Updated Again!] Astor Place cube pranked

Our friends at Welcome to the Funhouse spotted this early today ...


Credit then to the the Caltech Prank Club ...?


Yes, it has been turned into a Weighted Companion Cube ...

@mylestanzer noted that the Astor Place cube police have removed the gag...


Runnin' Scared has more on all this here.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Yarn-hater de-yarns the Astor Place cube

That was sort of fast... a little bit ago some kind of worker started cutting off Agata Olek's latest yarn creation...

[Via @ArtObserved]

Booo! And here are some shots from earlier in the day by East Village resident Beep Iams (@beepiams) ...