Old Fulton Gets New Plaza with a DUMBO Flair
After months of anticipation, the new plaza along Old Fulton is open and running, creating DUMBO's latest space to eat outdoors. Created with the NYC Department of Transportation and Brooklyn Bridge Park, the DUMBO Improvement District is working to establish the plaza as a destination for everyone from locals looking for a new lunch meeting spot to tourists searching for a place to enjoy the views and local food while using the French bistro seating as well as sculptural seating created by DUMBO artist Eleanor Alper (pictured above).
Eleanor created five distinct "Fun Seetz" (or her "creatures" as she calls them) for the Old Fulton plaza space, that are essentially abstract sculptures of various animals and people, created as benches for all to enjoy. We know "the Lady," pictured here, will become a mainstay for must-take-DUMBO-photos. Other subjects include dogs and an octopus.
As a working artist since before DUMBO was DUMBO, Eleanor's inspiration for her work has come from all that's around her including her own paintings, animals she sees and even concerts she attends, "I have many programs from shows a the Met or Barge Music with sketches on them." Eleanor enjoys creating and seeing her pieces for the public and has had her work on display in DUMBO before in the Pearl Street Triangle, "DUMBO's been good to me. I really enjoy seeing kids with their parents, local residents and tourists climbing all over my sculptures!"
Each of Eleanor's pieces start out as sketches on paper, then they are transferred to 3D cardboard cut-outs where they are assembled in a way that best fits seating. From there, she works with her fabricator to create small scale models of the final product. Finally, she and her fabricator work to create the finished sculptures with a water-jet machine that cuts the metal (aluminum and steel), which once cut-out, is bent by hand with a rubber hammer and the flat steel is welded, polished then powder-coated.
Photo via Steven Harris.