CitizenM Taps Street Artists to Highlight the ‘Citizens of the Bowery’ at 20-Story Tower

Posted on: June 19th, 2018 at 5:05 am by

Tearing a page from the gentrification playbook, CitizenM, the Netherlands-based hotel brand, is now engaged in an “artwashing” project for its forthcoming Bowery property. Corporate recently launched an artist collaboration at their 20-story, modular Bowery property.

(Artwashing is a verb coined to describe the phenomenon whereby street art is exploited as cred to soften areas for incoming gentrification.)

The endeavor is multi-faceted and not so subtle. For starters, sixty-two of the windows carry portraits of members from the community, including residents, workers, and small business owners, all part of the “Citizens of the Bowery” show by artist Christelle de Castro. There is a hashtag stenciled to the project site announcing same.

Meanwhile, several street artists were tapped to paint the inner stairwells, as well as a ground-floor mural showcasing these so-called “citizens” of the Bowery; the paintwork is happening all this week.

The whole undertaking just seems like pandering to a neighborhood opposed to its presence.

This modular CitizenM hotel development is more than ten years in the making. The changes began in 2008, when Brack Capital acquired four adjoining properties on the Bowery (at Delancey), including the historic townhouse at 185 Bowery. The assemblage was knocked down a couple years later, and it would take another two years (2012) for CitizenM to jump aboard as hotel operator.

March 2009

More on the hotel from its website:

CitizenM Hotel is the world’s tallest modular constructed hotel standing 20-Stories and located at 189 Bowery, New York, NY. Hotel consist of 210-pods or modular units totaling 300-Guestrooms along with common spaces, including rooftop, lobby, and plaza amenities. Hotel construction consist of a 4-Story cast-in-place concrete pedestal together with 14-Stories hybrid concrete superstructure building core and shearwall with a 210-modular unit surround and top 2-Stories consisting of structural steel superstructure framing housing a top-of-house bar and amenties lounge.

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