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This image has been archived or removed.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This image has been archived or removed.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

East Broadway Subway Station Turns 85

The East Broadway subway station wasn’t always a shady dungeon attracting crime. Once upon a time, the transit stop inspired celebrations across the Lower East Side. It was exactly eighty-five years ago – January 1, 1936 – that the East Broadway subway station debuted to the public. The feat of subterranean engineering, then known as […]

Looking at the New Ludlow House Annex Atop Demolished Libation Site

Well, that was quick. With Libation excised from the Lower East Side, the hole is now filled. Taken over by Ludlow House. The building at 137 Ludlow Street was demolished last year, and replaced in a matter of months. In fact, it’s already operational. The architecture of this one-story newcomer mirrors design elements of its […]

Stringer Promises ‘Fair Share’ of PPP for City Businesses

City Comptroller (and mayoral candidate) Scott Stringer held a press conference yesterday at the Chinatown kiosk on Canal Street, announcing a plan to funnel federal Payroll Protection (PPP) dollars to New York city businesses. It certainly triggered an uncomfortable memory of last year’s PPP fiasco. The first round of PPP went into effect just a […]

‘Open Streets’ Town Hall Yields More Questions than Answers

Tuesday night’s Town Hall on Open Restaurants and Open Streets, hosted by Community Boards 3 and 6 – left residents with more questions than answers regarding the long-term impact these pandemic-era health and economic neighborhood solutions have on a post-COVID city. However, the online meetup did bring a wide scope of information in terms of […]

Unused Half of Bowery’s Sunshine Hotel Flophouse Available to Rent

The leasing banner has been strung from the facade of 241 Bowery for more than two years. Without much success. The second and third floors (combined 8,938 square-feet) – once part of the Sunshine Hotel flophouse – are again on the market. And at a hefty price: $6,495 for a “raw” space that requires renovations […]