Ambitious ‘Windows on the Bowery’ Placard Project to Highlight History of Thoroughfare, Launches July 5

Posted on: June 24th, 2016 at 5:00 am by
This image has been archived or removed.

These days, the Bowery rarely gets due recognition for its pioneering architecture, and early contributions to myriad art forms, such as tattooing, punk, vaudeville, and Yiddish Theater. Instead, it’s really all about which historic buildings can be sold to the highest bidder for demolition and re-development.

Armed with a platoon of historians and visually-striking imagery, the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors hopes to change this mentality. To entice people to start caring about this ancient foot-path. The grassroots neighborhood group embarked on an ambitions project called “Windows on the Bowery,” founded with the express purpose of spreading awareness, garnering appreciation, and effecting structural protections for our beloved thoroughfare. It’s a creative effort nearly two years in the making that will “highlight remarkable people, events, buildings, and achievements associated with particular addresses” along the Bowery.

As the name of the exhibit suggests, poster-sized placards rife with location-based information will reside in their respective Bowery windows, from Chatham to Cooper Square. Each one being a window into the past. (Get it?) In total, there are sixty-four panels containing histories penned by eighteen notable historians and researchers. Placards will measure roughly 18×24 inches.

This image has been archived or removed.

In addition to the display at the Bowery locations, a full exhibition of all the posters is planned for the western windows of the Cooper Union building, and inside the landmark HSBC bank at 58 Bowery.

“This isn’t a vanity project,” Bowery Alliance of Neighbors co-founder David Mulkins says. “We wanted people to see how important this street is.”

If the mainstream identifies and understands the historical significance of the Bowery, then perhaps the wanton decimation might ease. After all, the street is glaringly without landmark protections, despite its position on the National Register of Historic Places.

Nevertheless, Windows on the Bowery is unlikely to change the Landmarks Preservation Commission. But maybe it’ll open some new eyes to the layers of cultural history on the former boulevard of broken dreams.

This gallery has been removed.

Recent Stories

Death of the Tombs as Demolition Prep Commences Ahead of High-rise Jail

It’s death for the Tombs. Or, rather demolition. After three years of protests and community outrage, the Manhattan Detention Complex at 125 White Street is finally coming down. Demolition just started ahead of the eventual high-rise jail destined for the site. In December 2021, the city terminated the leases of businesses beneath the jail along […]

Flowers for Water at Long-Neglected Schiff Fountain

A decrepit Lower East Side relic in Seward Park is born again colorful. Until last week, the Schiff Fountain on the Essex Street perimeter of the park – stripped of its grandeur and weathering in public view – had mainly functioned as harbor for illicit activity. A favored spot for drinkers, junkies, and drifters. But […]

Bowery Mural Wall Curator Calls Hiatus During Rash of Tagging

In a surprising turn of events, the longtime curator of the Bowery Mural Wall announced yesterday that artwork at the site is now on hiatus. Blame the taggers. Jessica Goldman Srebnick, head Goldman Global Arts (an arm of the Goldman Properties real estate firm that owns the wall), published a missive on Instagram about the […]

Q-Train Shooter Surrenders to Cops at the 5th Precinct

The man accused of shooting to death a straphanger in an apparent random attack on a subway train subway morning is now in police custody. Andrew Abdullah, 25, identified as the suspect in the shooting, turned himself in to cops at the 5th Precinct yesterday. Apparently the surrender was aided by Lamor Whitehead, an ex-con-turned-clergyman […]

This Mott Street ATM Gouges with 17% Fee

Storefront ATMs are nothing new. In fact, their ubiquity was so pronounced that the city banned freestanding ones from sidewalks about a decade ago. Visitors to Chinatown or the Lower East Side unfamiliar with bank ATM locations when in need of cash might not realize the exorbitant fees some ATM operators are charging. For instance, […]