NEW YORK – While it’s been up on SoHo since 1973 (with a break between 2002 and 2007) the Wall, also known as the Gateway to SoHo, is still a relevant iconic point of street art today. In fact, the bright cerulean wall with contrasting turquoise steel beams, designed by Forrest “Frosty” Meyers, is testimony to the city’s embrace of public art.
In 1997, the owners of the building put in a request to the Landmarks Preservation Commission to tear down the piece under the guise of restoring the interior of the wall, but really so that they could use the building space to gain advertising revenue. The courts decided in favor of the city and the piece will be maintained for the future. It stands as an enduring portal not just to the defined area of New York, but as a legacy to the pioneers who changed the manufacturing area into a community of forward-thinking artists.
It’s an enduring incentive to street artists to continue to infuse the city streets with their creativity, to fight against commercialism. There’s still an aspect of the city that welcomes art over ad revenue.
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