Sculpture

The $150 Million Staircase

In a September 20th editorial for Artsy, Isaac Kaplan expresses concerns for the merit merit, or lack thereof, of the $150 million staircase sculpture which will be built and displayed in the Hudson Yards area of New York City. He makes several worthwhile statements disputing the merit of the 14-story, 2,500-stair piece, and the glaring contradiction in the artist's comments that the sculpture serves no commercial purpose, instead it is only for public use and enjoyment. The reason these remarked are self-contradicting that the entire project is being funded by a private real estate firm. And the fact that the real estate firm is developing a luxury complex adjacent to the site of the sculpture.

I am completely in board with what Mr. Kaplan is saying about the sculpture. Any project of this magnitude that is entirely privately funded by one firm definitely has a commercial purpose. Why else would the real estate firm make such a sizable investment. It's a calculated business decision with a favorable bottom line as its end game. However, I do take some comfort in the knowledge that public funds--ultimately taxpayers dollars--are not gong to be used for this project.

A rendering of Thomas Heatherwick's Vessel (image from Forbes Massie)

A rendering of Thomas Heatherwick's Vessel (image from Forbes Massie)