The vacant lot near Houston and 2nd Avenue that was transformed into the BMW Guggenheim Lab over the summer has is about to find a new purpose as a community park, thanks to the efforts of neighborhood volunteer group First Street Green. No more ugly asphalt, you guys! Though too bad they chopped down that tree.
Now that the Guggenheim Lab has packed up and gone off to Berlin and Mumbai, the FSG organizers who first got together in 2008 to transform the lot at 33 East First Street from a rat-infested derelict space into a community culture park are gearing up for a major new unveiling. The lot-turned-park will host dance, sculpture, painting, readings, music, performance, film, and annual competitions to build temporary canopies to house all of those things. And there's always room for more: "The Lab was a great forum for ideas," explained FSG coordinator Ann Shostrom. "We saw that people liked to get together and talk about ideas, so the park will be a sort of mini, easy-to-take-care-of Lab that the community can sustain."
There will be a park kickoff party on December 10, where FSG will unveil their multi-colored "wishing wall" and inaugurate the space with hot cider and neighborly conversation. "It's a way to thank the community for participating and making their ideas known about the space," says Shostrom. "And a way to begin its life as a park."