Volume 22, Number 20 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | September 25 - October 1, 2009

Villager photos by Patrick Hedlund

The new LentSpace sculpture plaza opened last week. At right, is Ryan Taber’s “Pompey’s Folly.”

Sculpture garden spruces up Canal St. area

By Albert Amateau

A new temporary outdoor art space opened on Sept. 18 on the southwest corner of Hudson Sq., courtesy of Trinity Real Estate.

The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council has transformed the irregular city block, bounded by Grand, Varick, Canal Sts. and the west side of Sixth Ave. into a site for contemporary art exhibitions and occasional performance programs.

The lot, a Trinity development site, is open from 7 a.m. to dusk seven days a week. It now has a tree nursery in wooden planters, seven strange and wonderful art installations, including parts of the chain link fence that previously separated the site from Duarte Sq. on Sixth Ave.

Villager photos by Patrick Hedlund
The opening nigh reception of LentSpace was a festive affair. Below, Carl Weisbrod and Erin Roeder of Trinity Real Estate with restaurant owner Phil Mouquinho, right.

“You can come and have your tea or coffee in the morning before work, you can bring your lunch,” Maggie Boepple, L.M.C.C. executive director, said at the Sept. 17 pre-opening ceremony attended by neighbors, artists (Christo and his partner Jeanne-Claude were on hand) and city officials including Kate Levin, commissioner of Cultural Affairs, and William Castro, assistant parks commissioner for Manhattan.

“We’re here for one, two, three years,” Boepple added. “Please tell us Carl because we’re not sure,” she asked Carl Weisbrod, president of Trinity Real Estate, the neighborhood’s largest property owner.

Weisbrod agreed that the loan of the site, LentSpace, was for a few unspecified number of years. “Until the real estate market returns, which it always does in New York,” he said. Weisbrod went on to say that the partnership of Trinity and L.M.C.C., Downtown’s premier arts organization for the past 36 years, was an enduring one.

Trinity’s ties to the neighborhood stretch back much longer — the church has owned parts of Downtown Manhattan for over 300 years.

Weisbrod was optimistic about the future of Hudson Sq., a neighborhood that he said is on the threshold of revitalization and the center of a new Business Improvement District.

The LentSpace site current show, “Points and Lines,” was curated by Adam Kleinman and features work by Graham Hudson, Eli Hansen and Oscar Tuazon, Ryan Tabor, Tobias Putrih, Olga Chernysheva, Corban Walker and Oliver Babin.

All seven installations refer to different aspects of the LentSpace boundaries and they include material and techniques used in civic design and construction. Located in space on loan from the owner and offering a place for visitors to gather, the show is both a guest and a host, Kleinman noted.

Partners with L.M.C.C. in the space in addition to Trinity are F.J. Sciame Construction, the city Departments of Cultural Affairs and of Parks and Recreation, the Port Authority and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. Interboro Partners were the architects.


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