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.

Recent Stories

Lower East Side Children’s Halloween Parade Marches this Weekend

Time to test run those kiddie costumes! The Henry Street Settlement’s second annual children’s Halloween costume parade and party is happening this weekend, and promises plenty of spooktacular fun for all ages. The parade route starts at Abrons Arts Center (466 Grand Street) and follows the beats of the NYPD marching band through the streets […]

Here’s Why DOT Shouldn’t Move Forward with Hated Chinatown ‘Gateway’ Art Design [OP-ED]

A glimmer of hope came over me last month when I was informed that Department of Transportation would delay its presentation to Community Board 3 regarding the controversial Chinatown “Gateway” marker. I was cautiously optimistic that Linda Lee’s “Dragon’s Roar” design would be scrapped due to unanimous local outrage and opposition, and that the selection […]

Lebanese Eatery ‘Manousheh’ Signs Lease for Seward Park Location

The year-long dormancy of the former Grand Street 7-Eleven is drawing to a close. In its place, a familiar Lebanese restaurant. Word on the street is that Greenwich Village import, Manousheh, just signed a lease for the vacated space. We’re told that asking rent had been about $18,000, but final price is unknown. Occupancy apparently […]

Game Over for ‘Water World Amusements’ Arcade on Essex Street

Much like the movie of same, Water World Amusements unceremoniously sunk. The arcade, which opened just over a year ago at 35 Essex Street, is no more. Gaming cabinets remain locked in the dark retail space, while leasing signage dominates the store marquee. That this game room failed to hit is not a shock. Water […]

‘Greens and Grains’ Shutters, While Famous Hakki Readies Essex Chicken Spot

Greens and Grains is no more after a year in business, as Hell Square eats another of its own. Instead, the so-called Pizza Champion is opening a chicken-focused eatery. Hakki Akdeniz, who owns a plethora of pizzerias around the neighborhood, is planning to open Essex Chicken at 115 Essex Street. Just a few doors down […]