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Guggenheim Art Space on E. 1st Street Taking Shape

The "toolbox" structure juts out into the park space along East Houston Street.
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DNAinfo/Patrick Hedlund

EAST VILLAGE — A temporary arts space planned for a formerly rat-ridden East 1st Street lot is coming together.

The centerpiece of the 10-week project — set to open Aug. 3 and then travel to cities around the world — is a raised structure hovering over the vacant lot near Second Avenue that will host everything from lectures to workshops.

The pop-up project, courtesy of the Guggenheim Museum and BMW, also includes a café and public bathrooms in the park space located behind the lot along East Houston Street.

A check of progress at the 33 E. 1st St. site showed that the carbon-fiber "toolbox" had already been hoisted above the ground, which had to be excavated and resurfaced due to unstable conditions that produced a refuge for rats.

The site itself has long been a source of frustration among neighbors on the block who have worked for years to bring something to the rodent-filled eyesore.

The “toolbox,” designed by Japanese architecture firm Atelier Bow-Wow, will travel to nine cities in Europe and Asia over the next six years, with Manhattan marking its inaugural run.

The project touts an advisory committee made up of global mayors, artists, economists and architects, and its organizers explained that the space will allow for a broad debate about city planning and public space, as well as raise issues of gentrification and urban development.