By Julie Shapiro
BATTERY PARK CITY — A 400-foot mural — that the Port Authority decided wasn’t “extraordinary enough” to display at Ground Zero — was vandalized at the Whitehall Ferry Terminal over the weekend.
Residents discovered that three of the colorful panels that comprise “Beyond the Garden Wall” had been slashed sometime between Friday evening and Sunday afternoon, a mere week after it was installed on April 16.
“We’re sad,” said Jennifer Sage, principal at Sage and Coombe, the architectural firm that designed the mural.
“We don’t think it’s related to the mural or the subject, really. It’s probably just an easy target for a hooligan.”
The 400-foot mural, which cost $13,000 to make, depicts a vibrant green hedge with familiar New York landmarks and historical figures peeking through the gaps. The slashed panels show a couple rowing in a Central Park lagoon, Coney Island’s Wonder Wheel, and the stone lions that frame the New York Public Library entrance.
The Department of Transportation and Port Authority ran a design competition for the mural last year, intending to display it on the fence around the World Trade Center site. But the Port Authority decided that the winning design by Sage and Coome was not “extraordinary enough” for that location, the New York Times reported in January.
Instead, the department decided to install the mural at Peter Minuit Plaza, which is under construction outside the Whitehall terminal. The mural is slated to stay in place until the plaza opens in September, Downtown Express reported last week.
Department of Transportation spokeswoman Nicole Garcia said they were looking into ways to repair the mural and had notified the NYPD. Police said there is no surveillance video or witnesses of the vandalism.
“There’s not a whole lot we can do...unless someone comes forward,” said Detective Cheryl Crispin.
A worker with Zip Helicopter Tours, who was soliciting customers near the mural on South Street on Tuesday, said he noticed the slashed panels Monday morning.
“It’s crazy,” the worker said, shaking his head. “No one can see nothing nice anymore.”