The Centre-fuge Art Trailer has Disappeared from East First Street After 7 Years
The grassroots art scene on East First Street just sustained a major blow.
Indeed, Centre-fuge Public Art Project lost its primary canvas. The rotting mid-block trailer on East First Street was removed from its seven-year perch last weekend. Its fate was inextricably tied to the East Houston Reconstruction Project, which may or may not conclude after more than a decade.
All that remains now is this beat-up concrete traffic barrier, a fitting headstone for the block.
We first started hearing rumblings around this time last year that the trailer would be removed. Guess it took that long to happen.
So, what does this mean for Centre-fuge? Well, they’re not going anywhere. The not-for-profit street art group will likely continue decorating the various construction elements along East 1st Street, and remains involved in curating First Street Green down the block.
As for the trailer, we’re told it was likely relocated “further downtown”; wherever it lands, Centre-fuge will still paint it. Assuming the decrepit box survived the move.
Seven years ago, the Department of Transportation installed the mobile unit directly behind the handball courts of First Park. Purpose of the placement was the creation of a forward office for both the East Houston money-pit and preparations for the Second Avenue subway. Its residence was initially set at three to five years, which upset the balance of the block. Neighbors became frustrated and often complained about the advent of human feces, drug paraphernalia, weapons, and overall blockage of visibility.
Several months later, two former residents on East First Street co-founded Centre-fuge as a means to beautify the blight, while also paying tribute to their friend Mike Hamm. The inaugural murals first hit the street in February 2012; there have been nearly two-dozen cycles since.