We wanted to share a new update post-Hurricane Sandy. Con Edison has restored utilities serving Governors Island. The Harbor School building is re-opening to students and staff and full Island operations are resuming. The clean up of debris and tree limbs from Hurricane Sandy remains underway and construction on the new park and public spaces restarted earlier this week.
As we mentioned to you on Thursday, Governors Island came through Hurricane Sandy well. While there are sticks, tree limbs and debris around the Island that washed ashore, the clean up is well underway and Island operations are getting up and running. Incredibly, only four trees on the Trust’s property were lost and they are now being cleared away.
Everything on the Island is getting back on track. Construction will get back underway this week at the site of the new park and public spaces and the Trust’s offices will be open for business.
We have received so many well wishes and questions from everyone about how Governors Island fared during the storm that we wanted to post a quick update.
Our preliminary inspection of the Island shows that the Historic District, including all landmarked buildings and the Governors Island National Monument, as well as the park construction site, do not appear to have suffered any lasting damage from the storm.
That said, the Island has lost a small handful of trees and there is considerable debris around the Island, including tree branches and other material that washed ashore during the storm. There is also some fencing that needs to be repaired.
Currently, the Island is not open for operations because it does not yet have power.
The Trust for Governors Island team, together with Turner construction and HMS Global (which runs the Island’s ferry), are working together on the Island’s clean up. We are also working with all appropriate agencies to return the Island to full operations and to resume construction as quickly and safely as possible.
Governors Island welcomed 345,000 visitors in its 40 day 2012 public season. For those of you who were able to visit over the last several months, you know that visitors enjoyed a wide range of arts, cultural and recreational activities including the Corning Museum of Glass’ Glass Lab, the Pig Island food festival and the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum’s graphic design exhibition. The Island was open on Saturdays, Sundays, Memorial Day and Labor Day from May 26 through September 30. The Island will re-open to the public at the end of May 2013.
As previously announced, Governors Island was closed on Fridays in the 2012 season to facilitate construction of the Island’s new park and public spaces and infrastructure program. Throughout the season, Governors Island continued to attract visitors from throughout New York City and beyond. Despite being open for 19 fewer days than 2011, the average number of visitors on a public day in 2012 grew to 8,200 from 7,100 last year. On a typical day, the Island is attracting as many visitors as Ellis Island.
The Trust for Governors Island welcomed the public during the 2012 season while also moving forward with its ambitious capital program. In May, Mayor Bloomberg and elected officials broke ground on the new 30 acre park and public spaces that will be completed next year. In addition, The Trust is overseeing several major construction projects that are bringing the Island’s infrastructure into the 21st century by restoring potable water, upgrading electric and telecom systems, stabilizing historic buildings and upgrading the 2.2 mile seawall and the docks that serve the Island.
Dozens of organizations presented programs on the Island including those that had never before produced work here. Organizations new to the Island included the International Center of Photography, the Corning Museum of Glass, Better Living Through Math and Jalopy Theater. These joined some old visitor favorites including Storm King’s Mark di Suvero at Governors Island, which was in its second year and featured more than a dozen of the artist’s pieces in green spaces throughout the Island, the Earth Matter Compost Learning Center which introduced visitors to the Island’s newest residents, two goats named Pearl and Browser, FIGMENT’s nine hole artist designed miniature golf course and musical performances such as the alt-classical Rite of Summer series in Colonels Row.
We look forward to seeing you all again next year when Governors Island re-opens on May 25, 2013.
Don’t miss the last weekend to visit Governors Island this season! We conclude our 2012 public season on Sunday and will re-open on Memorial Day weekend in 2012.
Below is a sampling of this weekend’s great events.
Saturday, September 29 and Sunday, September 30: Open Studios at Building 110: LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island, 12 pm – 5 pm
LMCC’s artist studios currently host more than 20 artists-in-residence who have been working in diverse media including drawing, painting, installation, sculpture, performance, and new media. Stop by Building 110 for LMCC’s Open House, and visit LMCC’s artists in residence on Governors Island! www.lmcc.net.
Programs All Weekend Long
4heads Art Fair: All September weekends, 11 am – 6 pm
Run by artists, for artists, the Governors Island Art Fair enters its 5th year this fall as 4heads rally an exciting and diverse selection of artists from around the world. Well over 100 independent artists are selected entirely on the merit of their work and, once chosen, each is given a room of their own in which to create an exhibition environment of their own design.
Better Than Jam Pop Up Shop, Governors Galleries
Better Than Jam is bringing Governors Island the creations of New York City’s most talented artists and crafters. Popping up in the Governors Galleries, the shop is filled with the work of local designers, artists, and crafts people. Better Than Jam’s gift shop allows visitors to take home a tangible memento from their visit – a souvenir that was designed and crafted with the island in mind. With the help of the Etsy New York Team, the shop will also host demonstrations and workshops on Saturdays 12 – 4.
Transforming Function at Building 110: LMCC’s Art Center, 12 pm – 5 pm
The artists in this exhibition, by creating works that reimagine purpose, urge us to develop relationships to these environments that extend beyond passive consumption. Through adapting uses and subverting functions, the resulting work takes many forms and offers new perspectives and approaches to viewing, listening, experiencing, and interacting. Additional programming such as workshops, demonstrations, and talks to be announced.
Children’s Museum of the Arts Free Art Island Outpost Program, 11 am – 3 pm
Join the Children’s Museum of the Arts Teaching Artists for new themes and projects each weekend, including everything from painting and drawing to large-scale sculpture. Children and families can stop by for hands-on art for kids!
Earth Matter Compost Learning Center, 12 pm – 4 pm
Head to Picnic Point to discover composting, the art and science of turning food and yard waste into a healthy soil amendment, rich in the nutrients that plants need to grow. Come for a fun and free hands-on experience and unravel the mysteries of “black gold” and pet our newest compost workers – 38 adorable chicks and two kid goats, Pearl and Browser!
Visit Castle Williams
Visitors interested in visiting the newly re-opened Castle Williams will have the opportunity to learn about the history of Governors Island in an intimate setting led by a National Park Service Ranger, as tours to the top of the Castle are limited to small groups. Tickets will be on a first-come, first-served basis for the roof tour.
In The Governors Galleries
Street Math Investigations Presents Mü-Math: The Mobile Unit to Promote Mathematical Thinking
Children 5 and up are invited to immerse themselves in different styles of mathematical thinking in ways that are playful and engaging. The 15 New York City-themed installations are designed to offer different levels of challenge for all ages.
ICP Occupies Governors Island: Exhibiting Powerful Images from the 99 Percent: 11:30 am – 5:00 pm
To mark the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street (OWS), the International Center of Photography (ICP) presents Occupy! The exhibition acknowledges the relevance of popular protest during this crucial presidential election year, and celebrates the significant uses of photography, film, and social media in recording and communicating the message of the OWS movement.
Painting Governors Island: 10 am – 6:30 pm
An exhibition of en-plein-air watercolor and oil paintings exploring the island’s unique setting. The harbor, the industrial Brooklyn waterfront, the New York City skyline, and the bridges are all wonderful motifs from this inspiring location. The island, with its strange mixture of buildings, both utilitarian and historic, is in itself a fascinating subject. Each artist reinvents the island through their own eyes, finding surprising memorable images. While caring about the motifs, these paintings are not merely depictions, but rather personal, painterly truths about the island.
Process: 5th Annual Sculptors Guild Exhibition on Governors Island: 10 am – 6:30 pm
Curated by Mikaela Sardo Lamarche, and featuring work from members of the Guild and an invited guest artist, Faith Rinngold.
Empire Historic Arts Fund Presents the Fashion Exhibit: “Tattered and Torn” (On The Road To Deaccession): 10 am – 6:30 pm
An installation of costume de-accessioned from various museums due to condition issues that make them undesirable for exhibit in the upper echelon museum world. Empire Historic Arts takes a different stance and offers them as an amazing resource to people interested in the design and construction of 19th century costume.
Get the full list of all programs and events!
Just two weekends left to enjoy Governors Island this season!
This weekend is the last opportunity for visitors to play a free round of artist designed miniature golf on FIGMENT’s artist designed “Arcade”-themed course. The whimsical tree house and sculpture garden at the end of the Parade Ground that were created by a variety of FIGMENT artists will also close this weekend.
To celebrate the culmination of the Mark di Suvero at Governors Island exhibition, this Saturday, Storm King is partnering with Poets House to present the work of Yusef Komunyakaa, Tan Lin, Paul Muldoon and Brenda Shaughnessy. Their poems, and those of others they will read, are inspired by di Suvero’s soaring steel sculptures that visitors can enjoy in green spaces across the Island. The exhibition remains open through September 30.
The 4 Heads Art Fair, which showcases the work of more than 100 artists, will also conclude next weekend . Each participating artist curates and exhibits their works in rooms in Building 12, on the Island’s eastern shore. Pieces include painting, drawings, sculpture and multi-media.
This is also the second to last opportunity this season for visitors to stop by the Open House at Building 110: LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island on the closing weekend – September 29 & 30, between 12PM and 5PM. Currently, more than 20 artists are in residence in the space. The works of several of these artists are featured in the Transforming Function exhibition in Building 110. The artists’ studios will be open to the public and visitors will be welcome to speak with participating artists and learn about their work. There will also be a works-in-progress performance and more.
In addition to all of these programs, visitors should stop by the Governors Galleries to enjoy the last two weekends of the Better than Jam pop up shop, the Storm King visitor center and exhibits presented by Empire Historic Arts, Sculptors Guild, Better Living Through Math and the International Center for Photography. The Governors Galleries exhibitions remain open through September 30.
Check out all that is planned for this weekend!
Demolition has begun on Building 844!
The seven story building is the first of four high rise buildings which will be demolished over the next several months as a part of Governors Island’s major capital program that is improving Island infrastructure and building 30 new acres of park and public spaces.
The building is demolished with a long reach excavator that “munches” the building with a special claw attachment. In order to reach the highest point of the building, the excavator climbs “rubble ramps” which are created by large chunks of concrete from roadways removed to make way for the park. The concrete and brick from the demolished building, as well as the ramp material itself, will be stockpiled and used as fill for future phases of park construction.
Building 844 is located on the Island’s western shore on the southern half of Governors Island. This area is the site of the new park and future development. In May, Mayor Bloomberg and other elected officials broke ground on Phase 1 of the Island’s Park and Public Space Master Plan, which has been designed by acclaimed landscape architecture firm West 8. Phase 1 focuses on creating 30 new acres of park on the Island’s southern half and adding key visitor amenities throughout the Island’s Historic District.
Building 844 is one of three “dog bone” buildings on the Island’s western shore. The 80,000 square foot building is 70 feet high and was built in 1957 to house military personnel and their families. The buildings’ nickname comes from their unique dog-bone like shape. In 2008, Building 844 was used by the New York City Fire Department to test high-rise firefighting apparatus and it was also previously used for scenes in the movie American Gangster.
While Building 844 is being demolished, abatement and demolition of the remaining three non-historic high-rise buildings on the Island’s western shore will begin. Demolition is scheduled to be complete by late next spring.
Run by artists, for artists, The Governors Island Art Fair enters its 5th year this fall as 4heads rallies an exciting and diverse selection of artists from around the world. Well over 100 independent artists have been selected to show their work and each has been given a room of their own in Building 12 which to create an exhibition environment of their own design.
Don’t miss it – make sure you stop by the Art Fair any Saturday or Sunday between now and September 30 to see the work of these wonderful artists!
In 2003-2004, Moore was commissioned by the Public Art Fund, the Municipal Art Society, and the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation (the predecessor to the Trust for Governors Island) to document the abandoned buildings of Governors Island to show how the military and their families lived on the island for centuries. His talk includes images, like those above, show the abandoned Island that is in some ways much different than it looks today.
He photographed St. Cornelius Chapel, the bowling alley, Burger King, Liggett Hall, and several that are now open to the public such as Castle Williams. See Moore’s captivating images of the Island that serve as a historical record of the Island’s dynamic past by coming to Building 110 on Saturday.