What will Become of the Red Square Sidewalk Art?

Posted on: April 13th, 2018 at 5:05 am by

The following guest post was written by longtime East Villager Abdiel Munoz.

For the nearly twenty years I’ve lived in the East Village, the strip that covers the north side of Houston between Avenues A and B outside the residence formerly known as Red Square has been a main walkway for the residents of this community and its numerous visitors. Underfoot is something worth saving.

The sidewalk in front of 250 East Houston still features the “One Line” artwork by sculptor Ken Hiratsuka, embedded in the concrete in 1980s. It’s a colorful, geometrically winding path that runs the length of the block. While the piece has faded throughout the intervening years, to this day it is followed up and down by children on their way to school or home, who are curiously attracted to the design. Area youth often seem intrigued and naturally gravitate to its zigzagging road. In fact, I find it amazing that they have an appreciation for it, as most adult passersby appear not to notice it.

As seems to be the case with the new owners of 250 East Houston (i.e. Dermot Realty paid $100 million in summer 2016). The artwork might soon disappear under the ongoing renovations, headed the same way as the soul and quirkiness of Red Square. Instead replaced with a more luxury-oriented, generic design, appealing  to the influx of more affluent renters. When asked about the fate of this work, a representative from Dermot Realty confirmed that it probably won’t last, but that he would present my proposal for keeping it to the so-called decision-makers within the company.

The Lower East Side Preservation Initiative also seemed eager to save Hiratsuka’s labor.

In the end, the pathway is a link to the past that should be restored, so that it can be enjoyed and appreciated by a whole new generation.

Recent Stories

Tough Slog for ABC No Rio and its Passive House on Rivington Street

The redevelopment of ABC No Rio into an environmentally friendly passive house is again dogged by delays. In an appeal for donations on Giving Tuesday this month, ABC No Rio director Steve Englander provided an update on status of the new development. Another setback; this time it’s the necessary redesign of the foundation and plans […]

International Center of Photography Readies January Reopening at Essex Crossing with Ginormous Photo Display

Another big-box occupant at Essex Crossing goes live in just a few weeks. In January 2020, the International Center of Photography will unveil its “new, fully integrated” facility at 242 Broome Street. A ginormous, three-story photograph is currently hanging in the windows facing Essex Street as teaser ahead of launch. Shot by school alum Rochelle Brock, […]

Services Now Offered to Chinatown Seniors at Confucius Plaza

A new retirement community program is headed to Confucius Plaza on the Bowery. Earlier this week, Councilwoman Margaret Chin joined Confucius Plaza Management, Hamilton-Madison House staff, and local seniors at the 44-year-old complex to unveil the new Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC) entity. The facility is aptly named The Joy Peace Center, and offers social […]

At 60% Occupancy, 196 Orchard Taps LES Gallerist for Revolving Lobby Art

The synergy between high-end condos and galleries is on full display at Ben Shaoul’s Lower East Side condoplex. It is here, in the lobby of 196 Orchard Street, that local gallerist Lesley Heller has been tapped to curate a revolving placement of art. The residency began this week. Heller – who runs her eponymous showroom […]

Sunshine Cinema Office Development Hit with Stop-Work Order over Excavation

The city halted construction on the commercial office development set to replace the former Sunshine Cinema. Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, Department of Buildings deployed inspectors to the project site and subsequently issued a full stop-work order due to excavation activities. Public records show that “foundation work with excavators” caused “structural cracks” in both the […]