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Massive Dale Chihuly Rock-Candy Sculpture Coming to Union Square This Fall

By Noah Hurowitz | January 10, 2017 4:39pm
 An early rendering of Dale Chihuly's
An early rendering of Dale Chihuly's "Rose Crystal Tower" resin sculpture shows what the installation will look like when it comes to Union Square in October.
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Dale Chihuly courtesy of Department of Parks and Recreation

MANHATTAN — A 31-foot-tall sculpture resembling a stick of pink rock candy will rise on the plaza at 14th Street and Union Square East this fall, officials said.

The installation — dubbed "Rose Crystal Tower" and designed by renowned glassblower Dale Chihuly — will consist of a 22-foot structure made of glass-like resin sitting on top of a nine-foot base, according to Parks Department representatives. 

The department is looking into whether it will be possible to use power sources in the area to light the sculpture from the inside, according to Jennifer Lantzas, deputy director of public art for the agency.


The tower will consist of numerous layers of pink crystals stacked on top of each other to create a column, according to early renderings.

The resin which Chihuly is using in place of his usual glass materials will be hard enough to withstand breakage, according to Dale Lanzone of Marlborough Gallery, which is sponsoring the Union Square installation.

“You could throw a rock at it or really do whatever you wanted to break it and it’s not going to break,” he said at Community Board 5's Parks and Public Space Committee meeting Monday.

This will be Chihuly’s second public exhibition in the city, coming on the heels of an installation in the New York Botanical Gardens that will debut in April. It will be displayed from October 2017 until October 2018.

Chihuly, who sports a distinctive eye patch stemming from a glassblowing accident, is known for his creations that range from flora and fauna to abstract designs that have helped turn glassblowing into an avante-garde artform, Lanzone said. 

“In the world of glass, he really invented the art form,” Lanzone said. “Chihuly is synonymous with glass sculpture.”