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‘Cube’ alert: Iconic Astor Place sculpture to be repaired in place

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Watch out for possible overnight “Cube” congestion in the East Village midweek this coming week.

In some breaking news on “The Cube,” the Department of Transportation has announced that starting late at night Wed., April 27, and extending into the morning of Thurs., April 28, E. Eighth Street between Lafayette Street and Fourth Avenue will be partially. Specifically, the eastbound lane will be closed from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Why all the drama? Basically, you could call it, “As “The Cube” Turns…or Doesn’t Turn.”

Only a few years ago, from 2014 to 2016, the spinnable Astor Place sculpture, officially known as “The Alamo,” was in the shop for a $180,000 sprucing-up. Since being reinstalled, though, it has “developed some structural issues” and now needs repairs. According to a source, the problem is with the public artwork’s actual spinning mechanism itself.

Now, D.O.T. is trying to keep things from spinning out of control. Reportedly this is the only public artwork in the D.O.T. portfolio.

The eastbound lane of E. Eighth Street just north of “The Alamo” sculpture, shown in red, above, will be closed for six hours from Wednesday to Thursday.

Per the D.O.T. announcement, the agency’s Urban Design and Bridges team has “developed a temporary stabilization method [for “The Cube”] to put in place as a safety mechanism.”

The public artwork weighs 850 pounds, stands 15-feet tall and is wrought of 1/8-inch thick steel.

A good guess is that a crane might be brought in on Wednesday and Thursday to lift the sculpture up so that the repairs can be made — which is why the street lane needs to be temporarily closed. Hopefully, the D.O.T. scheme works and “The Cube” crisis is solved.

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