October 15, 2011, 11am-12:30pm
Starting at AXA Plaza
Join us in Midtown New York on Saturday, October 15th for the Arcade Parade, a free pedestrian tour through a series of little-known shortcuts composed of privately owned public spaces. Between 51st and 57th Streets and 6th & 7th Avenues, there exists an exciting, if unfinished, network of privately owned public spaces (POPS) provided by developers in exchange for additional floor area within the buildings above. Friends of Privately Owned Public Space (F-POPS), in conjunction with the West 54th/55th Street Block Association, and openhousenewyork, is promoting the individual spaces along the parade route as a single entity called Holly Whyte Way. William "Holly" Whyte was an influential urbanist whose books and films championed the substance of successful public space. In addition to enlivening these midtown arcades, F-POPS also seeks to increase their visibility and accessibility by connecting the spaces along the parade route with crosswalks. The proposal for crosswalks has been approved by the Community Board and is now being studied by the NYC Department of Transportation. The Arcade Parade will mark the dedication of Holly Whyte Way through a series of festive events along the nine-block parade route, including presentations of architecture and history by architects Brian Nesin and David Grider, episodes of play from artists Graham Coreil-Allen and Christina Kelly, a moment of site-specific sound by Simone & Claire Ghetti, and raucous music by the Hungry March Band!
Friends of Privately Owned Public Space is an organization dedicated to the celebration and improvement of New York City’s eighty-two acres of POPS. A collaborative of architects, artists, and community leaders concerned with the civic realm, F-POPS seeks to raise public awareness of the existence and purpose of these unique spaces.
About Private Owned Public Space in NYC
Privately Owned Public Spaces, abbreviated as "POPS", are street-level amenities provided and maintained by developers for public use, in exchange for additional floor area within the building above. Between 51st and 57th Streets and 6th and 7th Avenues, there exists an exciting, if unfinished, network of pedestrian POPS paths. In addition to enlivening these midtown arcades, F-POPS also seeks to increase their visibility and accessibility by connecting the spaces with crosswalks. The proposal for crosswalks has been approved by the Community Board and is now being studied by the Department of Transportation.
About William “Holly” Whyte
But who was Holly Whyte and what does he have to do with crosswalks? William Whyte, or "Holly", as he was known, was an influential American urbanist whose extensive observation-based research championed the social and physical attributes of successful public space. His insightful and entertaining books and films such as City: Rediscovering the Center and The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces reshaped the thinking of planners, architects and public servants worldwide.
About the performers
We've got architects Brian Nesin and David Grider talking about how these plazas, gallerias and arcades came to be and why some of them work better than others. We've also got yours truly marshalling the parade with hand-made flags, arm-banded volunteers and scores of free maps. As the avant-garde, we've got artist Cristina Kelly inviting kids on scooters to playfully reclaim space. Adding sound and movement, we've brought in site-specific performances including a sound piece by Simone & Claire Ghetti. And to top it all off, we've got NYC's legendary anarchic brass ensemble, the Hungry March Band serenading the entire celebration with their raucous jams. We invite all lovers of public space to join us in Holly Whyte Way for an hour of architecture, performance, absurdity and joy.
In order to make this parade a success, we need your help. The Hungry March Band aint gonna feed itself and the maps can't be printed for free! We are trying to raise $777 to pay for the performer's travel costs, the parade flags, and free food and maps for all participants. 100% of the proceeds will go towards supporting the Arcade Parade and anything you can give will be much appreciated!
- (14 days)