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Ceremony to Celebrate, Raise Funds for Reinstalled Mosaic Light Poles

By Allegra Hobbs | November 18, 2016 3:05pm | Updated on November 20, 2016 1:11pm
Jim "Mosaic Man" Power's beloved light poles have returned to Astor Place.
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DNAinfo/Allegra Hobbs

EAST VILLAGE — Jim "Mosaic Man" Power's beloved mosaic-encrusted light poles have returned to Astor Place after a years-long restoration process, and on Nov. 29 the Village Alliance will host a dedication ceremony to celebrate their return — and try to raise additional funds for the labor, according to the alliance's executive director.

The final five of the seven lampposts, which were removed in October 2014 to make way for the plaza's extensive redesign, were reinstalled in Astor Place on Friday morning, according to Village Alliance Executive Director William Kelley, though one is still unfinished and will stay covered until its mosaics are complete.

The completion of the last lamppost has been delayed due to a lack of funds, Power told DNAinfo New York, and may be put off until next spring.

The return of the renovated poles will be celebrated in an unveiling and dedication ceremony on Nov. 29 at 11:30 a.m., said Kelley, where the Village Alliance also hopes to draw attention to the group's fundraising efforts and drum up financial support for Power's work.

"We're going to do the official dedication on the 29th and will call attention to the need to raise additional funds," said Kelley, noting that roughly $4,500 of the $20,000 goal has been raised so far on the cause's generosity.com page.

"I think there are a lot of people in the neighborhood who love these poles who may not know there is a need."

Though roughly $22,000 has been raised altogether to fund the project with donations from organizations and individuals, according to the Village Alliance, Power has said the donations are not enough to bankroll his hard labor.

In October, he posted a sign in the plaza bemoaning the lack of funds, and on Wednesday morning showed up at a ribbon-cutting celebrating the completion of the redesigned Astor Place to rail against the gathered city officials, who he claimed should have chipped in more for his project.

The city's original plan to redesign Astor Place did not include the iconic lampposts, and Power in 2014 began ripping apart his mosaics in protest.

But the works were salvaged due to an outpouring of community interest, including advocacy from such groups as the Village Alliance and an extensive petitioning process.

For more information about the dedication ceremony, visit the event's Facebook page.