In mid-September commuters using the 4th Avenue/9th Street Station saw something very unusual. Behind the gates in eight of the ten new store front windows along 4th Avenue and 10th Street, the eagerly awaited temporary art installation, promised to the Civic Council during a station-focused public meeting in February 2015, appeared. The eight landscape scenes, created by local artist Francesco Simeti (who lives on 10th Street), depict a gentle Gowanus landscape from back in the day when the area was a salt marsh. Here’s a link to some more beautiful photos, with some kind words about PSCC’s industrious FOFA Committee!
The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) installed the art work with no fanfare, but we think it is an event that merits celebration, marking a process that began almost a year ago, when FOFA/PSCC organized a coalition of 9 local community organizations (Arts Gowanus, Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled, Fifth Avenue Committee, Gowanus Canal Conservancy, Make Brooklyn Safer, Old Stone House & Washington Park, Park Slope Neighbors, and Transportation Alternatives) to plan, promote and participate in a “pop-up” event, designed to show how the station could be enlivened and reflective of the community.
Following spirited prop-making workshops, made possible by funding through ioby, the “pop-up” event was held in November 2014. Coincidentally, after the date of the event was announced, the MTA announced that the scaffolding which had been shrouding the station for four years was coming down on the very same day. As part of an agreement to hold our event at Washington Park, the MTA agreed to the February public meeting to bring neighbors up to date on the timetable for MTA work.
That February meeting also resulted in a walk through of the station with representatives from the MTA and the Department of Transportation (DOT) to identify areas where non-major capital improvements could be made. Subsequently the MTA improved interior lighting, installed “you are here” maps, correctly oriented, on both sides of the 4th Avenue exits, repaired the step leading into the station, and installed clarifying signage about the west-bound R trains.
We hope you will take a look at the new art, which can be a little hard to see because of the dim light under the station bridge on 4th Ave. (Are you listening, MTA and DOT?!) It will remain in place until the stores are rented next year.
We have included some photos of the art below, but urge you to visit and take a look – the photos don’t do the art work justice.