For two months, the BMW Guggenheim Lab transformed a former rat-infested lot in the East Village into a vibrant, public space. While the Lab has officially packed up and moved on to Berlin, the lot will not, thankfully, be returned to its rodent-run glory. Instead, the space has been returned to the City of New York and turned into a new community park. Local volunteer group First Street Green will manage the space, continuing the cultural programming that the Lab brought to the area.
“The Lab was a great forum for ideas,” explained FSG coordinator Ann Shostrom to Gothamist. “We saw that people liked to get together and talk about ideas, so the park will be a sort of mini, easy-to-take-care-of Lab that the community can sustain.” The space will host sculpture, performance arts, readings, films, art shows, and regular competitions to design and build canopies to house all of the activities.
First Street Green inaugurated the new park with an opening party this past weekend. They hosted free public activities, including a board game and workshop to generate ideas for future programming in the park and a “wishing wall” demonstrating the power of community groups and neighborhoods.
The BMW Guggenheim Lab is a temporary, traveling combination think-tank, urban experiment, and community gathering place. Its first stop was New York City, and it is currently en route to Berlin, where it will be open from May 24 to June 29, 2012.