Local Leaders Want ‘Fearless Girl’ to Go Through Channels Before Becoming Permanent
The “Fearless Girl” statue faces down the New York Stock Exchange on Broad Street.
An array of Lower Manhattan community leaders are mobilizing to lobby the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio to comply with legally required procedures before authorizing the continued presence on Broad Street of the “Fearless Girl” statue, a bronze likeness of a young female striking a jaunty, audacious pose.
A resolution enacted at the October 26 monthly meeting of Community Board 1 (CB1) notes that the sculpture, “was originally placed at a nearby public site without authority in 2017.” This was a reference to the piece’s initial home, opposite the “Charging Bull” sculpture at Bowling Green. The measure goes on to recall that, “in 2018, the statue was moved and anchored onto the Broad Street roadway cobblestones in front of the landmark New York Stock Exchange Building,” and that State Street Global Advisors (the financial firm that commissioned the piece by artist Kristen Visbal, and owns it) is now requesting permission for the iconic statue to remain at this location, after the expiration of the initial permit from the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) that authorized its placement in this legally protected space.
The Board also acknowledges that, “although CB1 considered the statue to be a positive influence in the FiDi area, CB1 is concerned that the statue was placed without going through the Public Design Commission approval process that is required for the placement of public art and public space,” and argues that, “no further LPC permit extensions should be granted until approvals are received from the Public Design Commission.” The resolution concludes by urging that, “LPC should reject a permit extension and hold back any final decisions regarding the ‘Fearless Girl’ statue until it is approved by the Public Design Commission and any other City agencies with the authority to approve such an installation.”
In a separate (but related) development, Todd Fine, president of the Washington Street Advocacy Group, (seen at right) wrote to LPC chair Sarah Carroll the day after CB1 enacted this resolution, advocating that “Fearless Girl,” “should not receive any special treatment because of its status as a corporate advertising campaign. The Landmarks Preservation Commission would be superseding its authority if it attempted to provide special long-term or permanent permitting for the work… as well as superseding the explicit jurisdiction of the Public Design Commission in the City Charter.”
Mr. Fine also argues that, “in the April 17, 2017 agreement between State Street and the Department of Transportation, it is very clear that the Public Design Commission would have to give full approval after a one-year renewal, and that three years would be the limit for the temporary installation. While this timer was reset upon the sculpture’s move to Broad Street in December 2018, this year, 2021, is the end for ‘Fearless Girl’s’ status as a temporary installation. And, there is no record of the Public Design Commission considering the sculpture’s presence on even a three-year basis, let alone indefinitely.”
Mr. Fine concludes by observing that, “while people have different opinions about Fearless Girl’s merit and design, its unusual origins should not be used to set precedents that would blow up the City’s rules and procedures on public art. The Public Design Commission is best equipped to navigate the important aesthetic, design, and artist rights questions related to the work’s permanent or indefinite installation.”
The “Fearless Girl” statue at Bowling Green
The statue appeared at the foot of Broadway on March, 2017, in a bid by State Street Global Advisors to make a statement for International Women’s Day, juxtaposed in front of “Charging Bull,” the famous Arturo Di Modica sculpture that has been snarling and pawing the ground just north of Bowling Green since 1989. Although City officials had quietly okayed the surprise placement of the sculpture, they initially signed off on a permit that would allow it to remain only for one week, which was later extended several times—first for several weeks and months, and then through December, 2018.
The piece was then moved to its current perch, facing the New York Stock Exchange. Ironically, this was almost the precise spot at which the Charing Bull statue was stealthily positioned by Mr. Di Modica, who secretly created that piece in 1989, in the wake of a major financial crash, and then deposited it in front of the New York Stock Exchange in the dead of night. (A few months later, it was moved to its present location, several blocks away, at Bowling Green.) In a further symmetry, City planners are now advocating to relocate “Charging Bull to Broad Street, adjacent to the Stock Exchange, steps away from “Fearless Girl.”
Six Figures for Every 12 Inches
City Announces $110 Million for Resiliency in Seaport
Another piece of the jigsaw puzzle that is resiliency protection for Lower Manhattan appeared to fall into place on October 26, when Mayor Bill de Blasio announced $110 million in funding for protective measures covering a small stretch of the South Street Seaport waterfront. The Mayor’s announcement said, “the proposed project, which will be subject to appropriate review, will rebuild and raise the existing bulkhead and improve drainage in the area from approximately the Brooklyn Bridge to Pier 17.” To read more…
Online program. In November 1938, Herschel Grynszpan, a Jewish refugee living in Paris, walked into his city’s German Embassy and assassinated Nazi diplomat Ernst vom Rath. Grynszpan was just seventeen years old. His actions would later be used as justification for Kristallnacht, the violent antisemitic pogrom which took place on November 9 and 10, 1938. Now, eighty-two years later, Herschel Grynszpan has largely faded into history. Join the Museum for a program exploring Grynszpan’s story, how it came to be used as propaganda, and why it was ultimately forgotten. The program will include a discussion between Jonathan Kirsch, author of The Short, Strange Life of Herschel Grynszpan: A Boy Avenger, a Nazi Diplomat and a Murder in Paris, and Alan E. Steinweis, Professor of History and Raul Hilberg Distinguished Professor of Holocaust Studies at the Universiity of Vermont. $10
Burnout is real, especially after the many months of monotony we’ve endured in the past year. But for many of us, creativity and innovation are critical to our professional success. How do we encourage the constant generation of new ideas, even when our brains need rest? Innovation is part of a process that can be consciously detonated in a structured way, and Edwin Garcia of RedBox Innovation will tell us how to do just that. Free.
With its amazing gardens and views of the Hudson River and New York Bay,Wagner Park is the perfect setting to practice your art. Participants are expected to bring their own drawing and painting supplies, including drawing boards and containers of water if they are planning to paint. BPCA will supply drawing paper and watercolor paper only. Masks required. Participants must maintain six feet of physical distance between households. All programs will be held in accordance with New York State reopening guidance. Free.
New York is called “the Empire State,” and so is its most famous skyscraper.
Join us for a hybrid program, which kids can attend either in person at The Skyscraper Museum or virtually on Zoom. First, we’ll have a reading of the book by Lisa Bullard The Empire State Building, then compare the 1931 skyscraper to 21st century supertalls in our current exhibition. Then, switching from listening and looking, kids will design a colorful light show for the skyscraper’s spire. All ages. RSVP required. Free
In this lecture, Nina Sankovitch will present the intimate connections between leading families of the American Revolution—the Hancock, Quincy, and Adams families—and explore the role played by such figures as John Hancock, John Adams and Abigail Smith (Adams), Josiah Quincy Junior and Dorothy Quincy (Hancock) in sparking the flames of dissent and rebellion that would lead to the Declaration of Independence in 1776. By focusing in on Braintree, Massachusetts and these three prominent families of the village, Sankovitch will demonstrate how the desire for independence cut across class lines, binding people together as they pursued commonly held goals of opportunity, liberty, and stability. This lecture will take place via Zoom. Free
Then Until Now offers a look at a forty-year choreographic span, with past and present juxtaposed in the bodies of three “mature” dancers.
About the artists: Angel, Barsness, and Clements resurrect solos from the 1980s and make new dances, too. A surprise comic trio is the finale. Vicki Angel, Eric Barsness, and Carol Clements share a background in the 1980s downtown Manhattan dance scene, at the juncture of avant-garde, postmodern dance and the theatrical experimentation of performance art. $15-$20
The National Museum of the American Indian’s Native Cinema Showcase is an annual celebration of the best in Native film. This year’s showcase focuses on Native people boldly asserting themselves through language, healing, building community, and a continued relationship with the land. Activism lies at the heart of all these stories. Check website for individual listings Free
Originally from the Chicago comedy scene, Megan has been called “an oasis of invigorating silliness in feeds dominated by wearying tragedy” by the New York Timesand “a soothing comedy balm for a scathing grease fire of a year” by Harper’s Bazaar.$37.50
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‘A Victory for Every Community in Lower Manhattan’
City Council Candidate Christopher Marte Wins Race to Succeed Margaret Chin
Christopher Marte won by a wide margin the race to succeed Margaret Chin and represent Lower Manhattan in the City Council, according to preliminary results posted online by the City’s Board of Elections.
As of a few minutes after midnight, with 98.5 percent of precincts reporting, Mr. Marte had garnered 15,055 votes out of 21,083 ballots cast, or approximately 71 percent of the total. He was trailed by Independent candidate Maud Maron, with 3,041 votes (or 14 percent), and Republican contender Jacqueline Toboroff, with 2,945 votes, or 13 percent.
Planning Moves Ahead for Elevating Battery Waterfront
With the ongoing design process for the Battery Wharf resiliency project now 50 percent complete (and construction slated to begin in late 2022), Community Board 1 (CB1) is weighing in with concerns and ideas about how to refine the vision for raising the level of the waterfront esplanade in the Battery to protect the historic park against future sea-level rise and extreme-weather events.
Norman Rockwell was a 20th-century American painter and illustrator whose paintings and illustrations had broad appeal in the United States for their reflection of American culture in the mid-20th century.
1519 – Hernán Cortés enters Tenochtitlán and Aztec ruler Moctezuma welcomes him with a great celebration.
1861 – American Civil War: The “Trent Affair”: The USS San Jacinto stops the British mail ship Trent and arrests two Confederate envoys, sparking a diplomatic crisis between the UK and US.
1917 – The first Council of People’s Commissars is formed, including Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin.
1923 – Beer Hall Putsch: In Munich, Adolf Hitler leads the Nazis in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the German government.
1933 – Great Depression: New Deal: US President Franklin D. Roosevelt unveils the Civil Works Administration, an organization designed to create jobs for more than 4 million unemployed.
1939 – In Munich, Adolf Hitler narrowly escapes the assassination attempt of Georg Elser while celebrating the 16th anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch. Hilter left the event early and the bomb went off 13 minutes later. Johann Georg Elser was a German worker who planned and carried out an elaborate assassination attempt.
1950 – Korean War: US Air Force Lt. Russell J. Brown, while piloting an F-80 Shooting Star, shoots down two North Korean MiG-15s in the first jet aircraft-to-jet aircraft dogfight in history.
1960 – John F. Kennedy defeats Richard Nixon in one of the closest presidential elections of the 20th century to become the 35th president of the United States.
1973 – The right ear of John Paul Getty III is delivered to a newspaper together with a ransom note, convincing his father to pay US$2.9 million.
1994 – Republican Revolution: On the night of the 1994 United States midterm elections, Republicans make historic electoral gains by securing massive majorities in both houses of congress (54 seats in the House and eight seats in the Senate, additionally). Thus bringing a close to four decades of Democratic domination.
2002 – Iraq disarmament crisis: UN Security Council Resolution 1441: The United Nations Security Council unanimously approves a resolution on Iraq, forcing Saddam Hussein to disarm or face “serious consequences”.
2004 – War in Iraq: More than 10,000 U.S. troops and a small number of Iraqi army units participate in a siege on the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah.
2011 – The potentially hazardous asteroid 2005 YU55 passes 0.85 lunar distances from Earth (about 324,600 kilometres or 201,700 miles), the closest known approach by an asteroid of its brightness since 2010 XC15 in 1976.Trajectory of asteroid 2005 YU55 compared with the orbits of Earth and the Moon on 8–9 November 2011.
1656 – Edmond Halley, English astronomer and mathematician (d. 1742)
1836 – Milton Bradley, businessman, founded the Milton Bradley Company (d. 1911)
1883 – Charles Demuth, American painter (d. 1935)
1884 – Hermann Rorschach, Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst (d. 1922)
1931 – Morley Safer, Canadian-American journalist and author (d. 2016)
1949 – Bonnie Raitt, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
1226 – Louis VIII of France (b. 1187)
1674 – John Milton, English poet and philosopher (b. 1608)
1978 – Norman Rockwell, American painter and illustrator (b. 1894)