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City Unveils Mural Meant to Beautify Chambers Street During Construction Work

By Ben Fractenberg | October 19, 2010 6:09pm

By Ben Fractenberg

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

LOWER MANHATTAN — The city unveiled the second installment Tuesday of a five-foot-high green mural meant to help beautify the eyesore of Chambers Street construction.

The 1,000-foot-long piece called Secret Gardens, which features a series of gardens tucked between lush green leaves, runs along the construction site on Chambers Street from West Street to West Broadway.

Chambers Street has been narrowed to one lane of traffic while the city works on a three-year water main project.

"The street, it was so bleak," said artist Richard Pasquarelli, who designed the mural. "The bright yellow-green of the leaves is really transforming this [street]."

But not all the passersby were as enthusiastic.

"I find it pretty, but I don't think it helps with the stress," said Giu Nogveira, 23, a college student who complained of the bottleneck at Chambers and Greenwich streets caused by the construction.

Another student had a similar complaint.

"They're trying to make it look better, but it's not helping," said Carlos Santana, 25. "It's taking up a lot of space."

The project is a joint venture between the Downtown Alliance and the Department of Transportation.

"DOT's Urban Art Program brings temporary artwork to enliven spaces like these, making them more livable and welcoming for residents, workers and visitors," said DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.

Sadik-Khan said she hopes the city will expand the project to other construction sites in Manhattan.

Tom Turadek, 55, stopped to admire the mural Tuesday as workers started jack-hammering.

"It's relaxing, it's calming," Turadek said of the design. "I don't think something abstract would have worked here."