Community

So About that Elephant Under the Archway

A fond farewell to an accidental neighborhood mascot … 

The elephant mysteriously arrived in Brooklyn Bridge Park at the end of September. He was pink, quite large and constructed entirely from wooden triangles. On a whim, the DUMBO Improvement District decided to give him a temporary home in the Archway under the Manhattan Bridge. Just for a week or two, max. Dumbo in DUMBO — the opportunity was too delicious to pass up. We learned that our mysterious friend was created by architecture student Hector Orellana for last year’s Figment Festival on Governor’s Island.

October rolled around.  The Elephant stayed.  With his cheerful Pepto-Bismal coloring and friendly stature, DUMBO residents and workers took a shine to this humble wooden sculpture. The Elephant became a fixture at Flea Food under the Archway and the backdrop for lunchtime concerts. Donning a mask and a sword, it was dressed up as Zorro for Halloween, much to the delight of neighborhood children attending our Halloween under the Archway fete. We wrapped the elephant in lights and placed a wreath around his trunk for the Holidays. (Check it out on Instagram here and here and here and here and in this wedding shot here.)

As Spring comes around and we plan for a new slate of programming and great art installations (like Match-Maker), it was time for our elephant to find a new home. And so, we looked for takers with this ad on Craigslist.

Turns out, there’s a lot of demand for a large, pink elephant.

Within 24 hours, we fielded more than 50 requests, including a kids camp upstate, a Staten Island mall, and Westchester Square Plumbing Supply in the Bronx. We received an email from 3M design guru Mauro Porcini, seeking a companion for his pink lion in the Hamptons. Locally, we heard rumblings of interest from Etsy. And then the team behind new app Ultravisual, armed with a tape measure, went to scope out the sculpture, only to discover the elephant is too big to fit through the lobby door.

This weekend, the Elephant will be adopted and we know his new owners will experience the same joy he brought to DUMBOnians.

We’ll miss you, buddy.