Alamo Cube is Cordoned Off as Roadwork Reaches Astor Place

Posted on: October 7th, 2014 at 6:10 am by

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The cube is now fenced in

Much to the chagrin of skaters (and East Village residents), the iconic Astor Place cube is now cordoned off. Barricades were shipped to the site over the weekend to establish the perimeter. Of course, this latest is part of the overall plan to redesign Astor Place and its Cooper Square neighbor to the south.

The $16 million project itself is five years in the making, yet still one year from completion. Some of the 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 will also be widened.

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One of its most outspoken critics, however, is Jim “Mosaic Man” Powers who has been fighting the upgrade since its inception. His epic Mosaic Trail is being chopped down for as part of the reconfiguration. The DOT maintains the stance that art poles removed will be stored in a Queens warehouse and reinstated once the area is ready.

The “Alamo Cube,” as it’s known, was designed by artist Tony Rosenthal, and installed in 1967. It has since become a centerpiece of downtown skate culture.

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What Astor Place will look like, Photo: DDC

The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor has an extremely similar cube on campus. Nicknamed “Endover,” this version was donated by the Class of 1965 and installed in 1968, just a year after its Gotham sibling.

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The cube in Ann Arbor, Michigan

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