Redesigned Astor Place Inaugural Set for September [PHOTOS]

Posted on: May 13th, 2016 at 5:00 am by

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After nearly a decade of construction, roadwork, and headaches, the newly-designed Astor Place is starting to open up. Piecemeal. And a date has been set for the official ribbon cutting.

The $16 million overhaul is more than six years in the making, yet still four months from actual completion. Updates include new drainage and curb system at East 4th Street, a new Village Plaza along Cooper Square between 5th and 6th Streets, and a totally revamped Cooper Triangle Park with new seating, plantings, and upgraded lighting. Sidewalks were also widened.

To celebrate its unveiling, a three-day inauguration was announced, so mark your calendars. The media-friendly ribbon cutting is slated for Thursday, September 15 at 10am. Elected officials will pander as they do and have a ceremonial spin of the Alamo Cube. It’ll be followed by a dedication of Jim Power’s restored “Mosaic Poles” (which should be installed by August), and a “Making Mosaics” workshop for the public. Friday is a cabaret performance sponsored by Joe’s Pub and La Mama (no alcohol); Saturday is the big day, with several stages erected for dance and spoken-word programming. The culmination of the celebration is a procession to East Fourth Street with twelve-foot puppets.

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In the meantime, many of the aforementioned upgrades are already available for public consumption. A large contingent of traffic barricades were removed from the area several months ago, revealing the new plaza; light posts are in place, yet won’t be able to accommodate the artwork of Jim “Mosaic Man” Powers; ten of his specific light poles removed during the redesign are being restoration and reinstated.

The Alamo Cube, meanwhile, is still in hiding. It was boxed up in November 2014 and hauled off to storage. Expect its return in the coming months.

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