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Bronx 'Boogie Down Booth' Torn Down, Slated For New Location in 2015

By Eddie Small | November 19, 2014 11:04am
 The initial "Boogie Down Booth" at the Freeman Street subway stop was taken down on Tuesday.
The initial "Boogie Down Booth" at the Freeman Street subway stop was taken down on Tuesday.
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SOUTH BRONX — The borough is temporarily losing its boogie.

The "Boogie Down Booth," which provided residents and passersby with lighting, seating and music, was dismantled Tuesday — but a new one should replace it early next year by the 174th Street subway station on Southern Boulevard.

The pilot booth at the Freeman Street subway station on the 2 and 5 lines, installed this past summer, was always envisioned as a temporary structure.

It played music for 24 hours a day in an attempt to make the area more hospitable and counteract the cacophony from nearby cars and subway trains.

The Bronx Music Heritage Center, part of the Women's Housing and Economic Development Corporation, now has plans to install a new one at Southern Boulevard and 174th Street in the first quarter of 2015.

“It’s still a part of the neighborhood where a lot of music has come out,” said Kerry McLean, Director of Community Development at WHEDco. “And so it’s kind of continuing to pay homage to the legacy of music in the Morrisania neighborhood.”

Design Trust for Public Space Fellow Chat Travieso, who helped create the original booth, will work with WHEDco on this new one as well, which will recycle several materials from the first such as wood, panels and speakers.

There were about 1,500 interactions with the original "Boogie Down Booth" each week, including people reading the sides of the booth, sitting on it, listening to the music and asking how their own creations could be added to it, according to WHEDco.

The BMHC compiled the playlist for the “Boogie Down,” which plays songs from local musicians and is meant to reflect the strong music scene in The Bronx.

The initial booth was part of the Design Trust for Public Space's "Under the Elevated" initiative, a project meant to make better use of the areas beneath New York City's elevated subways, rail lines, highways and bridges.

WHEDco decided to continue the project because of the positive reception the original booth received. Members also hoped to bring it to a different part of Southern Boulevard that is dealing with similar issues.

The group will solicit input from the community for the design of the new booth in the months ahead.