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Rock Of Ages In Long Island City

By Jason D Antos

Rock Of Ages In Long Island City

 

The area surrounding an enormous, ancient glacial erratic in Long Island City has been transformed into a vibrant pedestrian plaza.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has partnered with the Street Seats program and the VOREA Group to turn the stretch of 12th Street between 44th Avenue and 43rd Road into a public space to be used by artists and as a small park for pedestrians.

In partnership with the Street Seats program, a citywide effort that converts underused streets into public spaces, the DOT and VOREA set out to turn what was once a hazardous obstruction into something the community could enjoy.

VOREA, who owns properties along the street, applied to work with the city to turn the block into a pedestrian oasis which is situated in the largely industrial neighborhood of LIC. For years, any thru traffic was prohibited by the enormous glacial rock formation which measures an amazing 55 feet in length, 12 feet across and is approximately nine feet high.

The Street Seat is the second to be rolled out in Queens. Approximately 16 locations were installed in 2018 both in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The DOT hopes that additional underutilized spaces throughout the borough can be revitalized now that COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted.

The project itself was designed by MAPOS Architecture and was inspired by Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s 1983 work entitled, “Surrounding Islands,” in which 11 small, uninhabited islands were surrounded by 6.5 million square feet of hot pink fabric in Miami. This accounts for the neon blue outline drawn around the perimeter of the boulder which has traveled hundreds of thousands of years through time. For those who are interested in applying for a permit to host neighborhood events, please visit the Street Activity Permit Office website at www1.nyc.gov/site/cecm/about/sapo.page.

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