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Canal Street Getting Public Art Park No One Knew it Needed

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Could Canal Street get any more strange? Why yes, yes it could. Last year some architects showed off pie-in-the-sky plans for a big lot at 417-423 Canal Street (at Sixth Avenue), created when owner Trinity Real Estate demolished an old office building on the site. Hudson Square overlords Trinity had promised to give the public something pretty to look at while they figured out what to do with the rubble-strewn lot, and now something has started to grow. There are trees in boxes, ladders sunk in concrete and plenty of heavy machinery moving things around. The sculpture garden is called LentSpace, and it sits near some soon-to-be hot plazatude, One York and its pricey penthouse and the brand new wet-and-wild water park. Like we said, strange.

LentSpace will be programmed by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and the architects involved are Interboro Partners out of Brooklyn. They describe the Canal Street project as "an exhibition space for large sculptures, an event space and public park as well as a tree nursery." The Interboro crew says the half-acre project will be around for a while:

After the 3 to 5 year rezoning period the trees grown on the site will migrate to the streets of the surrounding neighborhood, turning into street trees for the emerging Hudson Square BID. In response to the client's requirement of enclosing the space with a 7ft fence, we designed a moveable sculptural fence facing Duarte Square that can enclose or open the site to different degrees and also serve as a public amenity in the form of park benches and wall panels for exhibitions.
Ah, so it's just your typical moveable sculptural fence-enclosed sculpture garden/tree nursery. Yeesh, another one of those?
· 417-423 Canal Street coverage [Curbed]
· Projects - LentSpace [Interboro Partners website]