Friday, June 17, 2011

The Great Wall of Chelsea

Currently the publicly accessible portion of the high line ends on W. 30th St. unlike the beginning of the high line in the meatpacking district which is a human inhabited neighborhood, the West 30th terminus of the high line is an industrial area, 

to the east on West 30th is the Morgan Post Office, 
to the west on West 30th are sanitation Department facilities.
To the north on 10th Ave is the Long Island Railroad/Hudson yards

The Great Wall of Chelsea

 Surrounding the Hudson yards is a cement curtain that we will refer to as "the Great Wall of Chelsea". It is a dark gray wall with the words Hudson yards, Related management, and Metropolitan Transit Authority, continually repeated around the wall.

As part of Park Chelsea we would like the function of this wall to be changed from merely a cement boundary that encompasses the Hudson yards into a series of artistic murals that will be painted by our local art community.

as an example of what can be done here is a mural at PS 11

by turning this wall into a series of murals what will occur is that when viewers of the Highline exit at 30th street rather than being left in the middle of an industrial zone they will be able to continue their walking/viewing experience by following the path of the Great Wall of Chelsea art to where it reaches 34th St ..

 A mural painted on the wall of IS 44 Columbus Ave and 77th St

At 34th St The Great Wall Chelsea Art will continue to 11th Ave. In the future this will also connect to the new 7th Ave subway extension station at 34th St and 11th Ave.

Park Chelsea  has talked with local artists and MTA employees about turning the Great Wall of Chelsea Art into a canvas for our local artist and the idea has been favorably received so far. 

 "These are collages I did of Chelsea.  If you get permission to have this
wall painted I could copy these on to the wall...."
-Florence Cohen, Chelsea Resident

  Art Bridge a model for the Great Wall of Chelsea Art

In a city constantly under construction (with much of it stalled as a result of the unfortunate downturn in the economy) sidewalk bridging is everywhere. Very rarely, if ever, is the sight of a new shed going up seen as a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Although essential for waterproofing and repair work, sheds visually pollute neighborhoods, blocking light and obstructing walkways while nevertheless forcing residents and passersby alike to accept them as a less-than-ideal part of City Life.

In the late Fall of 2008, having had enough of the nearly 500 linear feet of bridging wrapping around his building, London Terrace resident and ArtBridge Founder, Rodney Durso, decided to do something about it. After the building management gave him the green light, he launched a competition that called for art from local emerging artists to cover the scaffolding, effectively turning a building under construction into an Art Destination.

It worked. Over 500 people attended the exhibition’s Opening Night and the community welcomed the installation. It beautified the streetscape, brought local, national and international media coverage to London Terrace Gardens, and reinforced the sense that the building did care about the quality of life of its tenants.