Art + Culture

The “UMBO” of DUMBO – The Archway

It’s been four years since The Archway, under the Manhattan Bridge – the “UMBO” of DUMBO, was re-opened to the community. Time flies, and the neighborhood has changed significantly since 2008. So, for all the newbies and even those in need of a refresher, here’s a little bit of background on how The Archway went from looking like this in 2008…

to having the Creators Project and Florence + The Machine in 2011 (see lead photo).

With the DUMBO Improvement District’s advocacy, The Archway was reopened to the public on September 8, 2008, with NYC DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan proclaiming “Bridges like the Manhattan Bridge are not merely commuter corridors-they are architectural icons that define the character of their surrounding neighborhoods.  Nearly 75,000 vehicles and 969 subway trains cross this historic, century-old structure daily, a contrast to the graceful beauty of the arch that supports it, which we are now reshaping into a community public space.”  That’s a lot of people moving via car and train, but what about the people living around The Archway?

The space had been closed to the public for 17 years and was used as a storage facility for the Department of Transportation (as seen in the photo above). As DUMBO grew and developed, so did businesses on both sides of the Manhattan Bridge – on either side of The Archway, there are two banks, two dry cleaners and two grocery stores!

Today, the community enjoys using the space and its amenities (seating, lighting, electricity, and FREE WIFI – provided by the DUMBO Improvement District), year round.  The soaring vaulted ceilings inspire many and are ideal for ideal for projection mapping.  The 7,000 square foot covered space has already played host to a number of interesting and engaging experiences, including:

We’d love to help you host an event in The Archway.  It is spectacular (and available!) for events, markets and public art. To inquire about events or photography / filming, please email jane@dumbonyc.org or call (718) 237-8700. Fees vary depending on type of event, schedule and resource requirements. Note that all activities require insurance and are subject to NYC permits. As part of the process, the DUMBO Improvement District will help you navigate these requirements.