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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)

Features

For many New Yorkers, one of the best parts of living in the city is access to a rich artistic and cultural scene practically right outside the front door. And as pleasurable as it can be to attend a performance or visit a museum, the benefits go beyond a day of fun. According to Create NYC, a comprehensive cultural plan created in 2017, the city's cultural sector - which includes museums and theaters - attracted nearly 30 million visitors in 2015; the same analysis found that international tourists spent $1,786 on culture. Two years later, a report from Comptroller Scott Stringer found that New York City's arts and cultural industry generates $110 billion, or 13 percent of the city's total economic activity.

"New York City is the artistic and creative epicenter of the country and, in many respects, the world" - The Creative Economy report

New York's arts, entertainment, and cultural industries were hit especially hard by the coronavirus pandemic and the efforts to contain it, which included Broadway going dark and the suspension of live performances. In recognition of the gravity of the situation, Governor Cuomo declared, "We must bring arts and culture back to life" in his State of the State address before announcing a public-private partnership known as the New York Arts Revival. It will offer a series of star-studded pop-up performances, explore how socially distance performances can take place in flexible venues, and partner with the Mellon Foundation to distribute grants that will put artists back to work and help community arts groups. The speech came hot on the heels of the Save Our Stages Act, a $15 billion federal bill that will provide emergency funding to performance venues and offer other protections to entertainment professionals.
The New York Arts Revival's pop-up performances are expected to begin on February 4, and the program will culminate with the spring opening of Little Island (see below). Dr. Anthony Fauci has suggested that a successful vaccination program will allow theaters to reopen sometime this fall, but New Yorkers don't have to wait that long to experience culture. Museums posted their collections online at the height of the pandemic, and later introduced outdoor exhibitions as the city started to reopen. Museums and other cultural institutions got the green light to reopen with new protocols in place in stage four of the city's carefully phased reopening plan. However, even now, some of the city's most buzzworthy works of art can be found outdoors. We take a look at reopened museums, expansions and renovations in the works, and new public artworks to be experienced outdoors.

Coming Soon

Opening planned for spring 2021
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Little-Island-01 Rendering of Little Island via CityRealty
In 2014, eyebrows were raised when the Hudson River Park Trust and the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation announced plans for a floating public park in the Hudson River off Pier 55. But now that construction is winding down, what was once a far-fetched idea looks like an appealing reality. Little Island's varying elevations will allow for different perspectives from designated overlook areas, and will house a stage and 700-seat amphitheater. Tap dancer/choreographer Ayodele Casel, playwright/director Tina Landau, actor/musical director Michael McElroy, and PigPen Theater Co. were just named Little Island's first artists-in-residence.
Little-Island-02 Little Island circa winter 2021 via CityRealty
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Completion estimated for 2023
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Frick-Collection-01 Rendering via Beyer Blinder Belle for Landmarks Preservation Commission
When New York’s museums reopened at the end of the summer, the Frick Collection was noticeably absent. This is because the 1914 French Louis XVI-style mansion housing the works of art is undergoing a renovation and expansion with Landmarks’ blessing to accommodate an art collection that has more than doubled since the museum opened its doors in 1935. Starting in early 2021, though, it will take a temporary home, the Frick Madison, in the former space of the Met Breuer. The museum’s director has said this will allow for a new perspective on the art as the expansion begins in earnest.

Completion estimated for 2023
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The-Perelman-01 Rendering of The Perelman via REX
The Oculus at World Trade Center has been known to host outdoor movie nights, but The Perelman is set to go several steps further with live theater, dance, music, and chamber opera performances in Lower Manhattan. The facade will be wrapped in translucent marble from the same Vermont quarry as the United States Supreme Court and the Jefferson Memorial, and will appear bright white by day and glowing from within by night. The first floor, also known as the Public Level, will host public convening spaces, a lobby stage, and a cafe/bar. The second floor will be called the Performance Level and house such functional space as dressing rooms, a green room, costume and wig storage, and a music room. The Play Level on the third floor will have three flexible performance spaces, an artist rehearsal space, and a patron bar.
The-Perelman-02 World Trade Center, featuring The Perelman, via Compass

Completion estimated for 2022
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OMA/Bloomimages
Shortly after demolition permits were filed for a six-story building at 231 Bowery, the neighboring New Museum revealed renderings of its replacement, to be designed by Rem Koolhaas and Shohei Shigematsu of OMA and to double the exhibition space at the SANAA-designed museum. The more transparent new building will add more than 10,000 square feet of gallery space, connect with existing galleries, and connect the lobbies of the two buildings in one large space with an expanded bookstore and 80-seat restaurant.

Completion estimated for 2022
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Studio-Museum-01 Rendering via Adjaye Associates
The Studio Museum of Harlem is devoted to the work of artists of African descent, and would quickly outgrow its first two homes. The previous structure was demolished in February 2020, and work on the first phase of a new design by Sir David Adjaye is underway. The new space will bring more than 17,000 square feet of gallery and exhibition space as well as three studios for artists-in-residence, education spaces, a cafe, a glass-fronted lobby, and a free roof area.

Completion estimated for 2023
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121-West-125th-Street-01 Rendering of the Urban League Empowerment Center, future home of the museum, via Beyer Blinder Belle
In July 2019, Empire State Development announced a new 17-story, 412,105-square-foot development for the heart of Harlem named the Urban League Empowerment Center. In addition to bringing new housing, retail, and office space to the neighborhood, the project will be the home of the Urban Civil Rights Museum. It will be dedicated to telling the story of civil rights advocacy in the North.

Abolitionist memorial in Willoughby Square Park

Completion estimated for 2022

Willoughby-Square-Park-01 Rendering of Willoughby Square Park via Hargreaves Jones/NYCEDC
When Willoughby Square Park opens in Downtown Brooklyn, a key component of the new space will be a permanent public artwork commemorating the neighborhood's abolitionist history. Earlier this month, borough artist Kameelah Janan Rasheed was chosen for the project. Her conceptual proposal has been tabled following a public hearing, but she has been encouraged to gather further community feedback. The New York City Economic Development Council is at the helm of the park, and the art installation will be part of the "In Pursuit of Freedom" initiative led by the Brooklyn Historical Society, Weeksville Heritage Center, and Irondale Ensemble Project.

Governors Island redevelopment

Completion estimated for 2030
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Governors-Island-01 Renderings of Governors Island via WXY Architecture
Governors Island has come a long way from its days as a Union barracks and Confederate prison during the Civil War: Since the federal government returned it to the City and State of New York in 2003, it has been transformed into a public park, event space, and picnic spot...and that's just the beginning. Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Trust for Governors Island ("the Trust") announced a partnership to renovate a building into the first permanent home for the arts on the island. A year later, as part of the Mayor's Recovery Agenda, Mayor de Blasio and the Trust announced plans to develop a Center for Climate Solutions. It remains to be seen how mayoral candidate Andrew Yang's suggestion of a casino will play out, though.
Governors-Island-02

Completion estimated for 2021
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St.-Nicholas-Shrine-01 Rendering of St. Nicholas National Shrine via Santiago Calavatra
The original St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in was a row house purchased by Greek immigrants in 1892 as a community home, opened as a church in 1916, and served as an important part of Lower Manhattan for several decades. The church was destroyed in the collapse of the World Trade Center, and would have a sad status as the only house of worship to be destroyed in the terrorist attack. A new church is now taking shape across from the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, and renderings by Santiago Calavatra give the appearance of "a lamp on a lampstand" (Matthew 5:14). Upon completion, it will continue to function as a parish of the Archdiocese, but will also be a National Shrine with a meditation/bereavement room and community space welcoming all faiths.

Completion of renovation and expansion estimated for 2021
Current programming here

32-Second-Avenue-01 Rendering of Anthology Film Archives expansion via Bone/Levine Architects
In 1989, Anthology Film Archives opened in the former Third District Magistrates Courthouse as the first museum dedicated to film as an art form. Since then, it has served as a video preservation center, a reference library related to avant-garde cinema, and screening center for films outside the commercial mainstream. Screenings are currently postponed until further notice, but that is not to say Anthology Film Archives has not been busy. It is in the middle of upgrades that will bring upgraded infrastructure, a new library, new film vaults, a new cafe, and a rooftop terrace to the building. The expansion is taking place with the blessing of the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Completion estimated for 2022
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155-Mulberry-Street-01 Rendering via Morris Adjmi Architects
On the corner of Grand and Mulberry Streets, foundation work is underway on 155 Mulberry Street, a seven-story building with large windows, a red brick facade, and a context-sensitive design by Morris Adjmi Architects. The Italian-American Museum sold its site to the developers of a new condominium for $14.8 million at the beginning of 2017; as part of the deal, it will move into a larger space in the new building rent-free in perpetuity. The museum will have a separate Mulberry Street entrance that leads to a central atrium with a 20' ceiling. The four levels will include permanent and temporary exhibitions (including artifacts from Banca Stabile, a former tenant on the site), a 50-seat auditorium, and a gift shop.

Completion estimated for 2023
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Universal-Hip-Hop-Museum-01 Rendering of the Universal Hip Hop Museum via S9 Architecture
The Universal Hip Hop Museum is a key component of the Bronx Point development taking shape on the Harlem River waterfront. It will occupy 50,000 square feet and feature hip hop artifacts, a recording studio experience, a DJ booth, a graffiti station, and a virtual reality theater. The museum is aiming for a 2023 opening to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the birth of the hip hop movement. In the meantime, the museum is hosting the [R]Evolution of Hip Hop, an interactive installation at the Bronx Terminal Market; more information may be found here.

Completion of new building estimated for 2021
Current home at 460 Park Avenue now open

(SAMOOO)
A few blocks east of Korea Way, the new home of the Korean Culture Center is on the rise. The design by the Seoul-based Samoo Architects and Engineers is the winner of a 2010 competition, and will feature a transparent facade with illuminated sculptural figures. The project is striving for LEED certification and will feature a 200-seat theater below-grade, an exhibition space on the second floor, an arts and crafts center on the fourth floor, and classrooms on the fifth floor.

Completion estimated for 2021
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Irish-Arts-Center-01 Rendering via Davis Brody Bond
Since its opening in 1972, Irish Arts Center has bloomed into a mainstay of Irish theater, dance, and music. It has also outgrown the tenement it has operated out of from the start, and arranged to combine the original theater with a new building that has risen on the former site of an auto repair shop at 726 Eleventh Avenue. The new design incorporates the original brick facade and will offer a contemporary new theater, a lobby and cafe, a studio classroom, and four dressing rooms.

Completion estimated for 2022
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Children's-Museum-01 Rendering via FXCollaborative for Landmarks Preservation Commission
The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is such a popular destination for families all over New York that it is on the verge of outgrowing its Upper West Side space. To that end, the museum purchased a church at 361 Central Park West and worked closely with FXCollaborative to create a state-of-the-art museum with a historic exterior. The project won unanimous Landmarks approval in June 2020.

Completion estimated for 2022
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American-Museum-of-Natural-History-01 Rendering via Studio Gang
In June 2019, the American Museum of Natural History broke ground on the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation. The project designed by McArthur fellow Jeanne Gang will be anchored by the Central Exhibition Hall and link 10 museum buildings for better circulation. It will also add new galleries, new classrooms, a new theater, and an expanded library.

Completion estimated for 2023
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Metropolitan-Museum-of-Art-01 Rendering by wHY, courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is among the world’s largest and most famous museums, and the Fifth Avenue building housing the treasures is a work of art in and of itself. It is also set to renovate the Michael C. Rockefeller Wing, which contains 40,000 square feet of galleries dedicated to Africa, Oceania, and the Americas; from there, it will embark on the expansion of the modern and contemporary wing.

Thursday-Monday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Closed Tuesday and Wednesday
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Completion TBD
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In one of the first Landmarks Preservations Commission hearings of 2021, Howard Hughes Corporation and Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM) presented their plans for a new mixed-used development at 250 Water Street, a project that would also provide a $50 million endowment and new building for the South Street Seaport Museum. Renderings of the new museum show a building with a copper patina, shutters and arches consistent with its surroundings, and a congruous height, not to mention a connection to the historic museum.

Landmarks ruled no action, but it was impossible to overstate the importance of the museum to the South Street Seaport Historic District and New York City as a whole. It is temporarily closed to the public, but virtual programming may be found here.

Completion TBD
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Hall of Lumineres
After the Atelier des Lumieres took Paris by storm with a digital art museum in a former foundry, founder CultureSpace set its sights on 49-51 Chambers Street, a Beaux-Arts building that was originally the Emigrant Savings Bank, for its New York outpost to be called Hall des Lumieres. The museum leased space on the first level and one level below so as to make the most of the 40' ceilings and ornate detailing as a backdrop for what it calls "video powered canvases."

The extensive audiovisual equipment will be tucked out of sight, and the interiors will be modified to add a ticketing area, restrooms, coat check, and gift shop outside the designated landmarked space. Additionally, the designers plan to install a large curtain that can be closed during the shows and later opened to reveal the grandeur of the space. Landmarks unanimously approved the project in July 2020, and commission chair Sarah Carroll said, "The idea of allowing the public back into this space to experience this designated interior is seen as positive adaptive reuse."

Museum of Islamic Art

Completion date TBD

45-Park-Place-01 Rendering via SOMA Architects
Almost exactly a year ago, a set of renderings was revealed for the Museum of Islamic Art, which is taking shape next door to the luxury condominium at 45 Park Place. These show a tree-lined entrance with reflecting pools and light-flooded exhibition and prayer spaces. The museum was originally conceived as a community center, but it would be an ideal venue for club meetings and other events.

Completed in 2019
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The-Shed-01 The Shed via Brett Beyer
Situated where the High Line meets Hudson Yards, The Shed is designed to welcome established and emerging visual, musical, and performance artists. The Diller Scofidio + Renfo-designed building features two large gallery spaces, a theater, a rehearsal space, a skylit event space, an artists lab, and an adjoining plaza. The architecture was hailed as "adaptable" for its ability to move its outer shell over the plaza to create a large-scale performance space, but that word applies just as easily to the institution it houses: The "Up Close" series was developed to connect people to art from the safety of their homes, and the space has reopened with timed entry tickets and safety protocols.

Completed in 2019
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International-Center-of-Photography-01 Rendering of the International Center of Photography via Moso Studio
The International Center of Photography is the world's leading institution dedicated to photography and visual culture, and home to everything from early daguerreotypes to multimedia installations. The museum and school reunited in Essex Crossing, where residents of 242 Broome Street receive a complimentary membership to the museum. The museum had only been open in its new home for six weeks when it was forced to close due to the pandemic, but cultivated a vibrant online community that allowed people to see galleries, take classes, watch lectures and events, and even submit their own photography.

Completed in 2019
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Statue-of-Liberty-Museum-01 Statue of Liberty Museum via Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation
Ever since the Statue of Liberty was dedicated in 1886, it has served as a beacon of hope and inspiration to immigrants making their way to America. Over 100 years later, the Statue of Liberty Museum opened in 2019 as the home of American heirlooms and interactive exhibits alike. Separate tickets to the museum are not necessary, but the ferries to Ellis Island are operating at limited capacity, and masks are required.

Public Art Installations
85-Jay-Street-01 Photo via Dominick Mull
At the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Front & York developer CIM Group, along with New Line Structures, donated 350 N95 masks from the development site to Mount Sinai West. Months later, the site is now home to a nearly 500-foot-long mural honoring essential workers, one of the largest such tributes in the United States. Artist Misha Tyutyunik said in a statement, “I wanted to create a piece that honored the workers who have risked their lives in order to keep New York City going, while also paying tribute to one of its most iconic neighborhoods.”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth-Bader-Ginsburg-01 Rendering via Gillie and Marc
Barely a month after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, Governor Cuomo announced a commission to oversee the creation of a permanent statue of the Brooklyn-born judge. It could take some time before this statue is ready, but admirers will not have to wait that long: A bronze statues of Justice Ginsburg, originally designed as part of artist duo Gillie and Marc’s “Statues for Equality” installation, will be permanently installed outside the City Point development on March 15, which would have been her 88th birthday.

Women's Rights Pioneers
Women's-Rights-Pioneers-01 Photo via Emily Dombroff
On August 26, the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, Hillary Clinton spoke in Central Park at an unveiling ceremony for Meredith Bergmann’s statue of activists Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The statue on Liberty Walk is the first one of real-life women in Central Park (fictional characters may be found elsewhere). Non-profit Monumental Women was at the helm of the project and said in a statement, “It’s fitting that the first statue of real women in the park depicts women working together to fight for equality and justice, as women will continue to do until the battle is won.”

Medusa with the Head of Perseus
MWTH Project Photograph: Courtesy MWTH Project
When Argentine artist Luciano Garbati created “Medusa with the Head of Perseus” in 2008, the 7’ sculpture was conceived as a reversal of the classic myth. As the years passed, though, many women came to see it as a symbol of catharsis, especially as the Me Too movement gathered strength. Most recently, a bronze replica of the statue was installed across the street from the criminal courthouse in Lower Manhattan where Harvey Weinstein and others were tried for sexual assault.

Mother Cabrini
Mother-Cabrini-01 Photo via Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Flickr
The Columbus Day parade did not take place this year, but the city still paid tribute to a luminary of Italian descent: A statue of Mother Cabrini, the patron saint of immigrants and the first American citizen to be canonized by the Catholic Church, was unveiled in Battery Park. In a speech at the ceremony, Governor Cuomo said, “In this complex world, may this statue serve to remind us of the principles that made us great as a country and as a people.”

HYxOffTheWall
Hudson-Yards-01 Photo via Taylor Nusblatt
The Vessel is perhaps the best-known of Hudson Yards’ works of art, but New York’s newest neighborhood recently revealed two new and colorful displays as part of the HYxOffTheWall initiative. Graffiti artist Elle Street Art’s mural depicts a collage of women that she describes as “looking to a brighter future.” The artist known as Key Detail lives in the area and created a mural to honor his community. Both installations will be on display at Hudson Yards for the rest of the year.

Newtown Creek
Newtown-Creek-01 Photo via GreenPoint Innovations
In the Hunters Point section of Long Island City, a massive mural depicting a heron, cormorant, and sunset is taking shape on the side of a new school building. The design by Federico Massa stems from a contest that took place during Climate Week 2020 and aimed to highlight global climate issues through art. To that end, the design is going up with environmentally friendly paint and recycled and repurposed materials to be the city's first carbon neutral street artwork.

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