Is it ironic that the residents of C-Squat are charging a tenant $1,700 a month to rent a storefront space in the building to operate a museum commemorating the history of squatters in the neighborhood? The Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space is located on the ground floor of a building that was central in the movement to occupy and utilize abandoned buildings in the East Village and Lower East Side and turn vacant lots into community gardens. As described in the Times, C-Squat is one of a dozen remaining squats on the Lower East Side and was historically one of the most anarchic. The city waged a war of legal and law enforcement attrition against the squatters, whose actions eventually helped turn the Lower East Side and East Village from scenes of abandoned blight to green pocket parks and occupied housing. Now that their efforts made the area amenable to rapid gentrification, organizers hope that their squatters museum will preserve a piece of recent history that catalyzed a part of Manhattan.
· Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space [morusnyc.org]