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Floating 'Harvest Dome' That Washed Up on Rikers Island Arrives in Inwood

By Nigel Chiwaya | August 1, 2013 9:14am
  The 24-foot floating sphere of umbrella frames was installed in Inwood Hill Park Wednesday afternoon.
Harvest Dome Arrives in Inwood
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INWOOD — The second time was the charm for the Harvest Dome and Inwood Hill Park.

The massive floating art installation, which made headlines after it was destroyed on Rikers Island two years ago, finally made its long-overdue trip to northern Manhattan Wednesday.

Dozens of curious residents looked on as the dome — a 24-foot diameter sphere made of recycled umbrella frames and soda bottles — was installed at the inlet near the Inwood Hill Park Nature Center over the course of several hours Wednesday afternoon.

Resident Ruel Mckenzie marveled as he watched the dome unload from a barge near the park peninsula.

"It's actually really cool. It'll bring a lot of people up here," the 29-year-old said.

"It's a fantastic way to bring art to northern Manhattan," added Karin Dando-Haenisch, who followed the development of the project since 2011.

The dome is the work of architects Amanda Schachter and Alexander Levi of SLO Architecture. A dome was originally scheduled to be installed in the park back in October 2011, but the project was destroyed by Department of Correction officers after it floated over to Rikers Island.

The architects regrouped, raising more than $7,000 on Kickstarter to create a second dome, which was built in the Brooklyn Navy Yards in July. Schachter and Levi insisted they learned their lessons from last time; where as the first dome was brought in by canoes that were forced to travel in the rain, the architects had a three-day window in which to transport the second dome.

Once Wednesday was selected as the installation day — due to weather and tide conditions, Schachter said — the dome was brought up the East and Harlem Rivers into Inwood Hill Park, where it was put into place by members of the Inwood Canoe Club.

"It was fun to see the United Nations from the other side," Schachter said of the trip. "People were waving at us."

But Wednesday's event wasn't without problems. Progress on the dome's installation nearly ground to halt after one of the canoe club members suffered a seizure on site. Paramedics, police and firefighters responded to the scene, and the woman — who was able to walk off under her own power and initially refused medical attention — was taken to the Allen Pavilion for treatment. The woman is in good condition, Canoe Club secretary Kevin McKeon told DNAinfo New York Thursday morning.

The dome will be on display in Inwood Hill Park for one month.