Alas, another visionary site is leaving…

May 29, 2008 at 3:28 pm Leave a comment

Although I never had the opportunity to see the Toy tower of Eddie Boros in New York City, I have heard much about it.  Located at the Six and B garden, it was part of a program overseen by the city’s parks department, who felt that they would be derelict in their duty to leave it standing, for fear that a piece might fall if someone tried to climb it, as Mr. Boros did.
Sadly, like Howard Finster’s Paradise Gardens, wooden creations don’t fair as well in the elements, leaving lovers of the environments with a tough dilemma as to how to save them.

Creation of a Bygone Era, Soon to Be Demolished

Published: May 11, 2008

The ramshackle wooden tower has loomed over Avenue B for more than 20 years, drawing curiosity and a range of reviews from tourists and neighbors. Some have declared the colorful structure a masterpiece, and have admired the effort that went into assembling it. Others have complained that it takes up valuable space or just looks weird.

Ashley Gilbertson for The New York Times

The Toy Tower, at the edge of the community garden at Sixth Street and Avenue B, was built by Eddie Boros, a nearby resident.

The tower was erected bit by bit over decades at the southern end of the community garden at Sixth Street and Avenue B by a man named Eddie Boros, who was born and lived nearly his entire life in an East Fifth Street tenement that overlooks the garden. He died last year at 74, and the tower became the most visible and lasting reminder of his life.

Now the city is saying that the Toy Tower, as Mr. Boros called it, is structurally unsound and will be dismantled in the next few days. On Sunday evening some of the community gardeners will hold a goodbye party of sorts for the 65-foot creation in anticipation of its demise.

“The Six and B garden is saddened by the seemingly inevitable fact that the tower will be coming down,” the garden president, William Hohauser, said in an e-mail message. “In an ideal world the garden would like to see the tower stay for an eternity.”

In many ways the tower resembles its expansive and occasionally ornery creator, who was known to roam the streets in his bare feet, even in winter: eccentric, exuberant and impossible to ignore. It was built of boards and beams salvaged from the streets and festooned with found objects, including religious statues, a large metal birdcage and a plastic mannequin with an eerie stare.

On a recent afternoon many people who walked along Avenue B stopped to read a flier taped to the garden fence stating that the tower would soon be removed. It is so well known that it has been included in guidebooks, so onlookers included tourists as well as people from the neighborhood.

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Entry filed under: eddie boros, new york, new york city, visionary environment.

Alas, another visionary site is leaving… Paul Hefti’s Wisconsin Bottle Environment video

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