Parks Department Installs Fence at Allen Mall Bathhouse in Response to Nadja Rose Madder

Posted on: September 23rd, 2021 at 5:02 am by

The Parks Department is upping the ante on deterring a homeless artist from painting and gathering at the Allen Street Bathhouse.

Earlier this week, the city began assembling an eight-foot chain-link enclosure to (partially) fence in the sidewalk plaza. It is on this spot that transgender artist Nadja Rose Madder has been transforming the brickwork and sidewalk into sweeping murals since early summer.

Apparently this latest action is meant to contain Nadja’s art and piles of belongings in the name of “safety.”

“This fencing is a safety mechanism, and wasn’t installed to keep anyone out,” a Parks spokesperson told us. “It’s to prevent materials the artist brings to the space from spilling into the street traffic and bike lane.”

The long-dormant building itself – erected as a bathroom for Second Avenue El passengers in the 1930s – has been a target of taggers and graffiti artists for years. Along came Nadja Rose Madder, whose work struck a chord with the community, and her presence apparently became the proverbial red line.

The squatting mentality – non-commissioned artwork and piles of stuff – sparked battles with the Parks Department, Sanitation, and the 7th Precinct almost from the get-go. We’re told that more than once Nadja’s been removed and/or arrested from the premises and her possessions cleared away. At least one such altercation allegedly ended with a trip to Mount Sinai for psych evaluation.

Recent Stories

Developer Begins Demolition of Rutgers Street Playground for Temporary Parking Lot

Demolition work began this week on a Lower East Side park that is a focal point in the tension between the community and developers on the waterfront. The backhoes are out and job now underway at Rutgers Park, the small public space beside the Lands End II residential development. Removal of the playground began yesterday, including […]

The 3 Lower East Side Walk-ups that Sold for $35M

Earlier this month, we reported that SMA Equities, the Long Island real estate firm with controversial history on the Lower East Side, sold a portfolio of its area properties. SMA unloaded three tenement walk-ups to Daniel Fishman of GAIA Real Estate – 102 Norfolk Street, 177 Ludlow Street, and 99 Allen Street – for an […]

H&M Debuts Pop-up Hotel on the Bowery this Weekend

Fashion retailer, H&M, is headed to the Lower East Side this week with a pop-up hotel concept. Starting tomorrow, prospective guests can access the so-called Hotel Hennes via the eponymous 3 Freeman Alley. The three-day publicity stunt will be open through Saturday, from 2 to 9pm. Guests will be able to check in for an […]

Sneakerhead Arrested for Knifing Customer at Hypebeast ‘HBX’ Opening on Division Street

A watershed moment for Hypebeast transformed into a melee on the Lower East Side last week. The Hong Kong-based fashion and lifestyle publication on Friday officially debuted in the seven-story commercial loft building at 41-43 Division Street. Its ground-level store – dubbed HBX – attracted a queue of sneaker heads waiting for a limited edition Nike […]

Arsonist Torches Eldridge Street Beauty Parlor

Two people were injured yesterday evening after an arsonist set ablaze a beauty parlor on Eldridge Street, according to several published reports. The incident transpired shortly before 5:00pm at the Sa Sa II Beauty Salon, located at 129 Eldridge Street. Cops said the suspect poured gasoline inside the store and set it on fire. (Initial […]