One of New York’s hottest music scenes can now be found in a very unexpected spot! Yesterday, the NYC Department of Transportation and the Design Trust for Public Space unveiled the “Boogie Down Booth”—a 24/7, all-access Bronx-born music experience parked beneath the 2/5 subway station in the South Bronx’s Claremont neighborhood. The installation, illuminated by solar-powered lighting and directional speakers, marks the second prototype of public space reclamation project Under the Elevated. Throughout the summer, residents and visitors will be able to enjoy home-grown tunes set beneath the bustling sounds of passing trains at the Freeman Street and Southern Boulevard station.
The celebratory launch event lauded the individuals and organizations responsible for taking the Boogie Down Booth concept from abstract renderings to concrete implementation. Representatives from the NY Department of Transportation, Design Trust for Public Space and collaborators from the Bronx Music Heritage Center (BMHC) of the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco) shared their remarks on the new exhibition, which serves as part of a borough-wide initiative to celebrate the rich musical history of the Bronx and create vibrant open public spaces.
Speakers from the event included: Constance Moran, Bronx Borough Commissioner, NYC Dept. of Transportation; A representative from NYC Dept. of Small Business Services; Susan Chin, Executive Director, Design Trust for Public Space; Nancy Biberman, Founder & President, WHEDco; Elena Martinez, Co-Artistic Director, Bronx Music Heritage Center; and Will Calhoun, Music Advisory Board Member, Bronx Music Heritage Center.
The Boogie Down Booth was designed by Participatory Design Fellow Chat Travieso to test how the space under the 2/5 subway tracks could be made more hospitable for residents and visitors alike. The erected wooden structure features a small platform for sitting and enjoying the tunes of local South Bronx talent while waiting for the next bus or train to arrive.
Unable to attend yesterday’s unveiling? No need to worry, the Boogie Down Booth will run through September 15th.
Lead image courtesy of Design Trust Instagram