Showing posts with label the Alamo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the Alamo. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

The Alamo is free on Astor Place (though it's not ready to spin)

ICYMI: Workers removed the barricades surrounding the Alamo on Astor Place late last week. (Noted here and here on Saturday.) 

As previously reportedbarricades had surrounded the Cube — aka the Alamo — since late last fall.

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

The Department of Transportation installed the temporary in-house fabrication and support for the cube on April 27. After some painting, workers then took away the barricades. A DOT spokesperson previously told us that they didn't have a timeline for repairing the spinning component.

Tony Rosenthal's sculpture first arrived here in November 1967

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

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Lubing the Cube



EVG contributor Derek Berg came across this scene today on Astor Place... where workers from the Village Alliance were lubricating the Alamo, an annual event to keep the Cube able to spin on its pedestal.

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]

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Cleaning the Cube


[EVG photo from yesterday]

Last Wednesday night/Thursday morning, someone decided to tag/doodle on the Cube at Astor Place. The Village Alliance was able to remove most of the squiggles ... but some remained.

This evening, the Astor Blasting Squiggle Remover was out to clean off the remaining portion of the Alamo ... thanks to the readers who shared these photos...


[Photo by @unitof]


[Photo by 8E]

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Updated: Tagging the cube



Astor Place this morning... photo by EVG reader Brian Polay...

Updated

Here's another view via @brittsullivan ...



Updated 3 p.m.

Squiggle removal commenced... photos via Derek Berg ...






Sunday, February 26, 2017

[Updated] Someone tagged the cube on Astor Place



This happened sometime Saturday night or Sunday morning.

Someone also tagged the structure that will house Astor Plate...



The reaction...


The refurbished Alamo was officially unveiled on Nov. 16 after nearly two years away during the Astor Place-Cooper Square reconstruction.

Updated 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

With ribbon cutting, the cube on Astor Place is free — free!



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...



Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Ribbon cutting for long-delayed Astor Place reconstruction project delayed by rain

Given the rain expected downpour, the official Alamo/Astor Place Ribbon Cutting Ceremony originally scheduled for today at 9:30 a.m. has been rescheduled until tomorrow (Wednesday!) at 8:30 a.m.

Here's the official notice about it (via an EVG reader)...



Per the notice from the Department of Design and Construction:

We would like to extend an open invitation to the community to attend our Official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for The Astor Place/Cooper Square Reconstruction Project and The reinstallation of The Alamo Cube.

The refurbished cube returned on Nov. 1 after nearly two years away during the Astor Place-Cooper Square reconstruction. The rain delay seems like a rather fitting end to a project that which was originally expected to be wrapped up in the fall of 2015.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Updated (POSTPONED): The 'Alamo Cube Ribbon Cutting Ceremony' scheduled for tomorrow


[The pinhole filter]

The weekly Astor Place Reconstruction newsletter (h/t to the EVG reader for this one), distributed back on Friday, notes The Alamo Cube Ribbon Cutting Ceremony taking place this week... specifically tomorrow (Tuesday!) at 9:30 a.m. ...


[Click for detail]

Of course, this may not actually happen. The advisories stated the return of the Alamo several times this past summer and in September. The refurbished cube returned on Nov. 1. For now, until presumably the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the sculpture remains behind barricades. Per a sign at the scene: "there remains a final phase of onsite restoration needed." Then! "Once complete, the barricades will be removed."

Updated 6:30 p.m.

Due to inclement weather expected tomorrow (Tuesday!), the ribbon-cutting ceremony has been postponed until Wednesday at 8:30 a.m.

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.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

New things on Astor Place (not the Alamo, which isn't technically new)


[Photo Tuesday by @unitof]

As you probably noticed, the Alamo returned to the revamped Astor Place on Tuesday.

Several readers asked if the fencing will remain around the cube.


[Photo Wednesday by @evgrieve]

I don't know. I doubt it. The barricades look pretty temporary, and will likely be removed when the glue dries. Or when people people realize the this Alamo is made of cardboard because the original one was lost. I've heard from several people who think the cube looks smaller ... and from several who believe it's now larger.

Meanwhile! The Alamo's return overshadowed another arrival this past week: A second zipper bench. This one is located outside the uptown 6 entrance.



Thanks to @edenbrower and @unitof for pointing this out!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Astor Alive! Festival schedule; plus Community Advisory about the return of the Alamo

Click on the link in the tweet below for the full schedule for this weekend's Astor Alive! Festival...


The event includes the return of Jim Power's refurbished mosaic light poles to the area.

Meanwhile...

A Community Advisory went out on Tuesday noting that the Alamo/cube was returning to Astor Place yesterday.

By 10 a.m. yesterday, we heard that it wasn't going to happen... some logistical issues.

At 1:31 p.m., the Community Construction Liaison for the Reconstruction of Astor Place and Cooper Square sent out an email with an apology and the following Community Advisory...

"The procedure for its return will be rescheduled for a later date to occur when we are confident the process will happen as seamlessly as possible."



The Alamo has been gone now for safekeeping and refurbishing for 22 months. Hopefully it isn't lost.

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 31, 2016

Anticipation builds for the return of the Alamo with the arrival of this caution tape



Workers today have blocked off the area around where the Alamo will rest on Astor Place, as these photos by EVG reader JinSoo show ... fueling speculation that the cube's return is imminent...



No official word on this just yet... After a fake out in June, the Parks Department said that the refurbished Alamo would be back in August. (And seeing as today is Aug. 31...)

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.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Report: Astor Place reconstruction now slated for a fall completion



The completion date for the reconstruction of Astor Place and Cooper Square has been pushed back from summer to fall, DNAinfo reports.

A spokesperson for the Department of Design and Construction didn't offer any reasons as to why the multi-year(s) project will be delayed by one season.

“We anticipate construction completion in the Fall and will continue to work closely with the Department of Transportation], Parks and the community for any updates about this project,” said public information officer Shavone Williams in an email.

The work, which started in September 2013 and was expected to take two years, has 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.

No word if this delay will impact the return of the Alamo, originally set for June 22 then moved to some time in August. Which, based on the ongoing delays, might mean October.

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

The all-new Astor Place is coming along (for real)

Monday, July 18, 2016

[Updated] Reader report: Rumors about the new Astor Place and the Alamo


[Astor Place photo from Saturday]

Longtime EVG reader Liberation shared the following...

[On Friday] I was told by someone who works for Village Alliance that, when eventually complete, the new Astor Place will have a variety of food vendors, outdoor tables and chairs, and some type of lighting scheme. There's a large electrical box on the northeast corner of Chase that will power all of this. The Village Alliance and some type of committee at the Sculpture of Living building decide who these food vendors are and, in general, decide what takes place in the area.



One bit of news I found shocking is that they have allegedly altered The Alamo sculpture so it will now include some type of lighting.

According to the Village Alliance employee the sculpture will also rotate on its own now as he said people have hurt their backs trying to spin it. Personally, I find it unethical to alter an artist's work to make it appear more like a theme park attraction.

The Alamo had an announced return date of June 22, but the city pushed it back to August.

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

Updated 3 p.m.

William Kelley, executive director of the Village Alliance, shared the following with us:

The Alamo sculpture should return in August, and it is exactly the same as it was before. There are no lights and the spinning mechanism is human powered, just like before. It received a thorough cleaning and coating to protect it from the weather and will return in good shape.

Also coming in August, there will be bistro tables, chairs and umbrellas for use by the public, much like you see in other plazas around the city.

Finally, there will be a single food concession in the north and south plaza spaces at Astor Place (not around Cooper Square or points south) pursuant to the license agreement with NYCDOT. No other vending will be allowed on the plazas.

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

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

Looking at a cube-less (still) Astor Place