Sonya Blesofsky
Façades Installation ViewWindow Study: East 3rd Street Reveal I and IIWindow Study: East 3rd Street Reveal IIWindow Study: East 3rd Street Reveal I and IIWindow Study: 264 East 7th Street I and IIWindow Study: 264 East 7th Street IIWindow Study: 264 East 7th Street II
Façades
For Façades, I confined my research to the Alphabet City neighborhood of the East Village NYC, where the gallery is located. Cited in Hans Haake’s seminal 1971 artwork "Shapolsky Et Al...", which documents ownership and control of urban spaces, 292 East 3rd Street where the gallery is situated, was inhabited by a group of squatters in the 1980s and transformed into livable housing. After a battle with the city, the squatters finally gained ownership of the building, which now stands as a victory for this community. At the other end of the spectrum, just four blocks away, sits 264 East 7th Street, a three-story rowhouse built in 1843, on a stretch of rowhouses once known as “Political Row” (because of the density of judges, lawyers and politicians connected to NYC’s Tammany Hall living in these buildings). Efforts by local preservationists to gain historic district designation have been unsuccessful and the building is now slated for demolition. The rehabilitation of a failing structure by squatters at 292 East 3rd St., and the blatant disregard of developers to preserve an historic structure, at 264 East 7th St., represent diametric circumstances in the cyclical process of New York City’s development.