Volume 20, Number 30 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | December 7 - 13, 2007

"Support businesses and organizations that support Downtown Express"

Downtown Express photo by Elizabeth Proitsis

You can’t keep a good wall down

“The Wall,” the landmark 1973 Soho public artwork by Forrest “Frosty” Myers, was returned to its wall at the southwest corner of Broadway and Houston St. about a month ago. The structure — 42 aluminum bars bolted to 42 steel braces — was removed five years ago by 599 Broadway, setting off a legal battle to restore the artistic fixture to its rightful place. “They said they were taking it down to repair the building’s wall,” said Sean Sweeney, director of the Soho Alliance. “But we knew they were never going to put it back up. They wanted to put up a 2,000-square-foot painted ad for the History Channel.” As an advertising space, the spot is worth an estimated $600,000 annually. Sweeney said he believes the official dedication won’t occur for a month. “They want to do some sort of plaque with the Landmarks Preservation Commission,” he said. It was arrogant of the building to try to scuttle the artist’s work, Sweeney added. “This guy is a really famous artist,” he said. “Frosty’s had his art exhibited on the moon for the last 35 years.” In fact, the Moon Museum 1969 is a small ceramic tile that was carried on Apollo 12 on which American artists Robert Rauschenberg drew a straight line; Andy Warhol drew a penis; Claes Oldenburg drew the image of Mickey Mouse; and Myers, John Chamberlain and David Novros all drew geometric designs.
Lincoln Anderson

“The constant haggling for repairs, having a hostile relationship with your landlord — as a rent-regulated tenant, this becomes your lifestyle,” she said.

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