Seven ‘Mosaic Trail’ Light Poles Reinstated Around the Reconfigured Astor Place

Posted on: November 21st, 2016 at 5:00 am by
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Last week was a busy one in the reconfigured (nay, sanitized) Astor Place. The pedestrian plaza is officially “reopened” after two years under the knife, and the Alamo Cube is again spinning. The final component to complete the trifecta – Jim Power’s Mosaic Trail light poles – is also in place.

Seven of the Mosaic Man’s artful ornaments now dot the area, each highlighting important aspects of East Village history. Their installation began toward the end of the summer and concluded on Friday, albeit with one hiccup. Apparently one pole is not totally complete due to a lack of funding.

“There is one pole that is still wrapped up for future mosaic art as we raise the funds to complete it, but all are in their final location,” Village Alliance executive director William Kelley told us in an email.

To that end, The Village Alliance, City Lore, advocacy groups, and private individuals kickstarted a crowdfunding campaign months ago to pay for the $22,000 restoration. However, according to a recent press release, the project has “stalled in it final stages” due to labor cost overruns. Target budget was $20,000 “to ensure the final elements of restoration can be completed to the artist’s vision”; they’ve raised $4,500 of that goal thus far.

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Photo: Astor Place Instagram

Official inauguration of the Mosaic Trail poles in November 29 at 11:30am.

It’s worth reiterating that this reinstatement would not have happened without the help of the community. During this two-year ordeal, a group of friends and supporters that counts City Lore, the Village Alliance, Bob Holman (Bowery Poetry) and Clayton Patterson in its ranks, together donated time and mental power to ensure that the artistic legacy of Jim Power remains intact at this historic crossroads.

Meanwhile, Jeremiah over at Vanishing NY has written at length about how the city continues to privatize and commodify our public spaces. Astor Place is just another example, made immediately clear by the Game of Thrones publicity stunt that closed off the area around the Cube over the weekend.

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