Toynbee Tile on Delancey

Posted on: September 11th, 2009 at 6:18 am by

This image has been archived or removed.

This image has been archived or removed.

Last week, Jeremiah spotted a unique Toynbee Tile in the middle of Second Avenue and Eighth Street.  Now the Lower East Side can join the club.  Indeed, we came across another such ominous inlay in the westbound intersection of Allen and Delancey.  It was inserted just a couple days ago, and seems to be a clarion call to mobilize against the New York Post and its journalists.

According to Resurrect Dead:

The first confirmed sighting of a Toynbee Tile was in Philadelphia, PA, in 1983. Other unconfirmed claims date back to the mid-’70s, possibly as early as 1975. New tiles have consistently popped up ever since. Over the years, Tiles have been spotted in Philadelphia (believed to be their origin;) New York City; Pittsburgh; Baltimore; Washington, DC; Kansas City; Detroit; St. Louis; Chicago; and several other smaller US cities. Additionally, Rio Di Janeiro, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; and Buenos Aires, Argentina; have all been “Tiled.” Tiles have also appeared on major US highways, as well as outside of the Holland Tunnel in New York City.

The physical makeup of the Tiles remained unknown for years. That they could weather the erosive qualities of inner-city road life make them all the more intriguing, and unparalleled in the world of textiling. Until recently, all that was known about their materials was what was hinted at in a few Tiles containing confounding instructions on how to make your own. The Tiles are now believed to be a combination of ‘true’ linoleum, which is difficult to purchase in the US, tar paper, asphalt crack filler, and an unknown form of glue, all hand-cut to the unknown Tileist’s liking. They are applied to concrete via the heat of the sun and the pressure of car tires, which will eventually wear away the tar paper and reveal their message.

Recent Stories

Tough Slog for ABC No Rio and its Passive House on Rivington Street

The redevelopment of ABC No Rio into an environmentally friendly passive house is again dogged by delays. In an appeal for donations on Giving Tuesday this month, ABC No Rio director Steve Englander provided an update on status of the new development. Another setback; this time it’s the necessary redesign of the foundation and plans […]

International Center of Photography Readies January Reopening at Essex Crossing with Ginormous Photo Display

Another big-box occupant at Essex Crossing goes live in just a few weeks. In January 2020, the International Center of Photography will unveil its “new, fully integrated” facility at 242 Broome Street. A ginormous, three-story photograph is currently hanging in the windows facing Essex Street as teaser ahead of launch. Shot by school alum Rochelle Brock, […]

Services Now Offered to Chinatown Seniors at Confucius Plaza

A new retirement community program is headed to Confucius Plaza on the Bowery. Earlier this week, Councilwoman Margaret Chin joined Confucius Plaza Management, Hamilton-Madison House staff, and local seniors at the 44-year-old complex to unveil the new Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC) entity. The facility is aptly named The Joy Peace Center, and offers social […]

At 60% Occupancy, 196 Orchard Taps LES Gallerist for Revolving Lobby Art

The synergy between high-end condos and galleries is on full display at Ben Shaoul’s Lower East Side condoplex. It is here, in the lobby of 196 Orchard Street, that local gallerist Lesley Heller has been tapped to curate a revolving placement of art. The residency began this week. Heller – who runs her eponymous showroom […]

Sunshine Cinema Office Development Hit with Stop-Work Order over Excavation

The city halted construction on the commercial office development set to replace the former Sunshine Cinema. Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, Department of Buildings deployed inspectors to the project site and subsequently issued a full stop-work order due to excavation activities. Public records show that “foundation work with excavators” caused “structural cracks” in both the […]