Showing posts with label the cube. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the cube. 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, 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]

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A sneak preview of the world's largest rhino sculpture, coming to Astor Place early next year

[Photo Thursday by Derek Berg]

Last Thursday, EVG contributor Derek Berg ran into a group of people on Astor Place doing some preliminary planning for "The Last Three," what is being billed as the world's largest rhino sculpture courtesy of artists Gillie and Marc Art.

[Photo by DB]

Here's more about the project, which will be unveiled on Astor Place near the Cube on Jan. 10:

We're honored to announce that in early 2018 Astor Place will become home to the world’s largest interactive rhino sculpture that you can photograph, touch and hug.

Created by internationally acclaimed monumental sculptural artists, Gillie and Marc Art, the incredible 16-foot sculpture will depict the world’s last three Northern White Rhinos, Sudan, Najin and Fatu.

The sculptures unveiling at Astor Place will officially launch the “Goodbye Rhinos” project, which aims to collect one million goodbye messages from across the globe, forming a petition to stop the poaching trade and illegal sale of rhino horn, the cause of the Northern White Rhinos imminent extinction.

After the New York City unveiling the sculpture will then visit major cities across the world to raise awareness of the rhinos plight and conservation.

You can read more about the project here.

Gillie and Marc Art are investing $150,000 of their own money for the project. (There was also a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised $50,000.) Cable network Nat Geo Wild is the main sponsor.

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...


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.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

1 day after dedication, Astor Place closed to prep 'Game of Thrones' fan event on Astor Place

Local elected officials and city reps came together yesterday morning for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the return of the cube to Astor Place (as well as mark the end of the ongoing reconstruction).

Today, as several EVG readers noted, the Alamo off limits.

Per EVG reader Sheila: "Yesterday the Alamo was dedicated and today we can't even see it, let alone access it."

Here's what the deal is tomorrow and Saturday:

Game of Thrones® Comes to Life in Epic Fan Event at Astor Place!

The Emmy® Award-winning HBO® series Game of Thrones is known for many things: shocking deaths, breathtaking special effects and, when it comes to DVD releases, extensive and captivating bonus content. To celebrate the November 15 release of Game of Thrones: The Complete Sixth Season on Blu-ray™ and DVD, HBO is bringing the box set’s exclusive bonus features to life in three groundbreaking events with interactive experiences including photo, video and virtual reality that take fans behind the scenes and immerse them into the world of Game of Thrones.

The event is 12:30 to 8 p.m. each day. Find more details here.

Everything will be back to normal on Sunday, William Kelley, executive director of the Village Alliance, told me via email.

Updated 11/18

A view from this morning via Vinny & O...

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.

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!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Something seems different about the new cube


[Updating] The cube is back in town

[Photo by Vinny & O]

After nearly two years away (and a few fakeouts), the Alamo has returned to Astor Place... workers are putting in back into place on the revamped Astor Place...

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.


Here's an aerial view via DP in the EV...

...via Russell K. ...

...via Sheila...

...via EVG...

... 10 p.m. ...

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.


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.

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.