New Exhibit to Showcase Adam Purple’s Garden of Eden

Posted on: January 6th, 2011 at 6:38 am by

Saturday is the twenty-fifth anniversary.  On January 8, 1986, the massive Garden of Eden “earthwork” was bulldozed by the city to make way for federally funded housing.  The guerrilla undertaking was spearheaded eleven years earlier by Adam Purple, a resident of 184 Forsyth Street, and spanned five city lots. His inspiration was simple enough – watching neighborhood children play in the garbage and filth of his rubble-strewn backyard.  It was a “hell of a way to raise children,” and Purple decided the land could be of greater benefit to the community as a fully-functional garden.  At its peak, the zen-tastically circular Eden boasted 15,000 square-feet of virgin soil, and yielded fruit, nuts, asparagus, and corn.

Purple’s blood, sweat, and tears are now buried beneath Section 8 housing units that occupy the block.  All the more reason to cherish his legacy.  So Harvey Wang is on a mission to ensure the ecological masterpiece is not forgotten.  The career photographer, and onetime chronicler of Eden, is teaming up with Fusion Arts Museum at 57 Stanton to exhibit a selection of photos documenting the life of the garden. However, Wang needs help.  He’s taken to Kickstarter to raise money for the show, which is slated for a February 2 open.

This image has been archived or removed.

184 Forsyth Street today:

This image has been archived or removed.

Thanks to @lowereastnyc for the tip.

Recent Stories

Bialystoker Tower Tops out at 30 Stories on East Broadway

One month is an eternity when covering the rising real estate in the neighborhood. In that time since our last follow-up, the tower flanking the Bialystoker Nursing Home finally reached the top. The shadow-casting luxury development at 232 East Broadway reached its thirty-story pinnacle late last week. Token stars-and-stripes affixed to the top. Round Square […]

Patti Smith Rallies with Supporters for Elizabeth Street Garden as City Terminates Lease

The legal and political battle to save Elizabeth Street Garden from redevelopment intensified last week as the city sent the beloved urban oasis in Little Italy a notice terminating its month-to-month lease at the end of October. News of the potential eviction broke over social media in the midst of garden plans to host a […]

Late Photographer Corky Lee Gets Mural Treatment on Doyers Street

There is a new tribute mural in Chinatown that honors the memory of beloved photographer Corky Lee. The nascent Chinatown Mural Project is behind the new artwork, which stretches along a 35-foot wall on Doyers Street, the nerve center of Chinatown. The mural is two-toned – blue and off-white – and meant to resemble “Ming” […]

One Year Later, ‘Fiore Escape’ COVID Sessions Still Captivate

One year after first captivating passersby at Essex and Grand Streets, the free fire escape concert series is back for another. Indeed, musician Jill Fiore will perform anew from the second floor of her Essex Street tenement (above Delancey Car Service). The next so-called “Fiore Escape” show is slated for October 15, as announced on […]

Parks Department Installs Fence at Allen Mall Bathhouse in Response to Nadja Rose Madder

The Parks Department is upping the ante on deterring a homeless artist from painting and gathering at the Allen Street Bathhouse. Earlier this week, the city began assembling an eight-foot chain-link enclosure to (partially) fence in the sidewalk plaza. It is on this spot that transgender artist Nadja Rose Madder has been transforming the brickwork […]