‘History Tribute Fence’ on Delancey is Now Lined with ‘Babel Blocks’ that Celebrate Diversity of NYC

Posted on: June 30th, 2014 at 10:00 am by
This image has been archived or removed.

Once the Essex Crossing really gets going, it’ll submerge the Lower East Side in a lenghty period of construction hell. Probably for at least a decade. There’s no real way to soften the sight of the imminent blight, but the Lower East Side BID is trying nonetheless.

Exactly a year ago, the BID unveiled its plans to create a “History Tribute Fence” to line the newly-created Delancey Plaza (at Suffolk Street). It’s a high-traffic area that’s exposed to approximately 111,000 vehicles crossing the Williamsburg Bridge daily. Artist submissions were sought, and ultimately Laurene Leon Boym came out victor.

Boym’s “Babel Blocks” now decorate the fences between Suffolk and Clinton Streets. These figurines are a collection of characters that celebrate the diversity of New York City. Installation should have happened sooner, but was plagued by delays. The sidewalk was cordoned off for approximately eight months for some infrastructural work. Apparently the vaults were caving in at the old trolley station beneath the roadway. Yes, where the Lowline hopes to put a park.

The Babel Blocks have names, too – meet Moishe, Nafisa, Mary, Chen, and Jose. Personification continues with a YouTube series.

As previously reported, the BID is in contract with the city to program Delancey Plaza for five years, with one-year renewal increments.

Recent Stories

Report: LES Man Sold $16K of Drugs to Undercover Cop in Union Square Stores

A Lower East Side man was arraigned yesterday on charges of selling cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl in the chain eateries around Union Square. Anthony Morales, 49, is accused of peddling upwards of $16,000 worth of drugs to an undercover cop at Chipotle, McDonald’s, Au Bon Pain, and Food Emporium. He’s charged with criminal sale of […]

Cup & Saucer Reboot Renamed ‘Two Bridge’s Diner’

The Cup & Saucer reboot on Canal Street recently changed its identity. It’s no longer the Greek Shack; instead taking on the location-specific name of Two Bridge’s Diner. (The grammatical error – should be plural – is memorialized on the awning and menus.) John Vasilopoulos, who lost the Cup & Saucer exactly two years ago, […]

DOT Pitches New Delancey Street Safety Upgrades (Again)

It’s back to the drawing board. The city will present yet another plan to improve safety along Delancey Street, one of the more dangerous thoroughfares in the Five Boroughs. Goal of this $22.7 million project is to “transform Delancey Street primarily through safety and streetscape improvements.” The project (HWM2025) follows seven months after the city […]

Luxury Development Plagues Newly Reopened DeSalvio Playground in Little Italy

The reimagined DeSalvio Playground debuted back in February. Now, four months later, access is partially restricted thanks to construction work on the neighboring luxury condo building. A tipster sent us this photos illustrating the closure of both the basketball court and rock climbing feature. Contractors set down heavy foam and plywood surfacing while construction concludes […]

Online Petition Protests ‘Outrageous’ 67% Rate Hike at Essex Street Municipal Garage

First they came for street parking; now its the garages. Essex Crossing gobbled up roughly 500 parking spaces around the neighborhood, and many locals allege the fly-by-night rate hike at the Essex Street Municipal garage further prices out area longtimers. As previously reported, the city quietly raised all rates the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. […]