On the grand stage that is Bond Street down in Noho, there resides a cast of glittering dancers who, for the past decade, have watched over the street below from a perch at 24 Bond. This spring, they were joined by a new crew of acrobats, a pillar of gravity-defying beasts and beauties balancing against the bricks. But all is not well in the newly Landmarked Bond-ville, where rules and regulations now reign. The newcomers quietly took the stage without prior approval and now, following a hearing before Community Board 2 and another awaiting with the Landmarks folks, it seems their curtain could soon come down.
A creation of resident sculptor Bruce Williams, the dancers are covered in gold from head to toe. The original troupe made their first appearance on Bond Street back in 1998, long before this stretch was deemed worthy of Landmark designation. For all those years they danced free, silent witnesses as their little byway went from gritty to glamorous. Their platform is a bank of second story windows on the old loft building, built of brick and stone in the classic mold, with deep set openings and an ornate fire escape ladder that zig-zags up the six-story facade. It's a creative place that once housed the studio of famed photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Down below is the Gene Frankel Theater, also deemed in violation due to a recent and colorful paint job meant to welcome theater-goers. The dancers first caught our attention back when their glassy green neighbor started to show off its graffiti gates a few doors down. Those twists of metal, an homage to a time when street art ruled, went up in the pre-Landmark era and were installed as of right and with nary a peep. Just like everything in show biz, timing is everything. It seems for some the balancing act is over and time has run out.
· Bond Street coverage [Curbed]
· Extended Noho Historic District Gets Green Light [Curbed]