At Community Board 1's monthly public hearing on Tuesday, May 10, Design Project Manager Scott Makosiej of the Department of Design and Construction, along with planner Emily Wisenhof and artist Austin Thomas, gave a presentation of the plaza's featured artwork.
Thomas, whose work has often been displayed in the Williamsburg and Greenpoint communities, has been working on the permanent piece at the plaza outside the Moore Street Market, or La Marqueta, since December.
The piece, which Thomas noted she is very excited to be working on since it is her first permanent piece for the city, is called “Plaza Perch”.
“All of my site-specific artwork I call perches,” she said. “They're all about people and place and meant to be used and enjoyed.”
The perch will be a multifunctional space, which could be used as lunch spots or for concerts. It will offer a “quiet vantage point” where visitors can take in their surroundings.
Thomas said that she took advantage of the “significant vine-age” currently on the market's facade by referencing it in the piece. It will be made out of stainless steel and wood and the trellis will be made out of a polycarbonate panel, which will also be incorporated into the benches.
“The artwork itself is an opportunity to have an oasis within an oasis,” she said.
The piece will be approximately 11-feet long, 15-feet wide, and 12-feet high, or 114 square feet.
“My idea as I've been working on this project and spending a lot of time at the market and learning about this particular block is that I wanted to make something that was for the community and of the community, but this time a permanent, very durable piece,” Thomas said.
The Humboldt Street Plaza is part of the New York City Public Plaza Program, which aims to create more public spaces or to enhance current public spaces around the city.
The artwork component is part of a requirement by local law 65, which requires that city-owned construction and renovations with public access allocate one percent of the construction budget to permanent public art.
The plaza, whose features were presented to CB1 by the DDC back in February, will be bounded to the north by Moore Street and to the south by Barron Street. It will be easily accessible by public transportation and is anticipated to add new life to the Moore Street Retail in Williamsburg.
The $1.2 million dollar project is set to be complete by 2012.