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Parks & Public Spaces

Request for support by Garment District Alliance for 7th Avenue button-and-needle sculpture redesign

WHEREAS, The Garment District Alliance requests a letter of support to present to the Public Design Commission regarding the proposed redesign of the iconic needle-and-button sculpture on the northeast corner of the intersection of 7th Avenue and 39th Street; and

WHEREAS, The Fashion Center Business Improvement information kiosk was installed in the 1970s as an information center on the stretch of 7th Avenue known as “Fashion Avenue,” and

WHEREAS, The information center went dormant in the 1980s, was rented to a florist shop, and was subsequently taken over by the Garment District Alliance in 1997, at which point it was refurbished as an information center and the 14-foot button and 31-foot needle sculpture added at that time by Pentagram Architectural Services; and

WHEREAS, With the advent of mobile devices, usage of the information kiosk began to decline 10 years ago; and

WHEREAS, The kiosk is no longer in use, but the iconic button and needle sculpture is beloved despite being in need of capital investment due to cracks in the fiberglass and issues with the floor and heating; and

WHEREAS, The Applicant is proposing a wholesale replacement of the sculpture with a reconstruction that removes the kiosk and replaces it with new supports incorporated into the sculpture; and

WHEREAS, The Applicant’s redesign retains the iconic shape of the 14-foot button and 31-foot needle, while reimaging elements such as remaking the color of the button in a bright yellow, simplifying the holes in the button from an obsolete “F,” for Fashion Center Business Improvement, to a cleaner 4-hole design, and introducing new supports replacing the kiosk in an attractive thread to accompany the button and needle; and

WHEREAS, The new design incorporates a stylistic and functional cane rail element required by code for sight-impaired pedestrians; and

WHEREAS, The redesigned sculpture will be lit with environmental lighting from the sides, and the adjacent property has expressed support for the new lighting design; and

WHEREAS, The redesigned button and needle is a creative structural and aesthetic update to an iconic design, and will be an improvement to both the aesthetics and pedestrian flow of 7th Avenue; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five supports the Garment District Alliance’s 7th Avenue button and needle sculpture redesign.

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