Monday, June 8, 2015

Haunted SoHo Well + Schein Subway Sidewalk Art

Between Greene and Wooster, at 129 Spring Street, sits a hip clothing store one would normally expect to find in Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood.
A little more unexpectedly is that the fashion house holds a haunted well in the men's department - just head downstairs.

The story goes that, in 1799, Gulielma Elmore Sands was having a secret affair with 22-year-old carpenter Levi Weeks, who lived at the same boarding home. On December 22nd, she left to meet her paramour, but hadn't returned. Her dead body was found almost two weeks later, in the infamous Lispenard’s Meadow Well, which has been standing in every business that has made the spot its home.

Though known in the press as the Manhattan Well Murder, Weeks was acquitted, and set free. Even though the prosecutor was the future Mayor of New York, Cadwallader D. Colden, Weeks was probably cleared thanks to a dream team of lawyers (Henry Livingston, Aaron Burr, and Alexander Hamilton) paid for by his well-to-do brother in the construction trade, Ezra.
Since 1860, it has been said that Sand's ghost was seen hanging around more than once, appearing as either a white-shrouded figure, or flashes of light above the well's opening.

After gawking at such a sight, just turn the corner on Greene, and head north until building number 110, the SoHo Building, to find Belgian artist Francoise Schein 's Subway Map Floating on a NY Sidewalk. Similar works of her's can be found in Paris, Stockholm, and Berlin.

Installed in 1985, by real estate developer and art lover Tony Goldman, the piece consists of brass "tracks" ending in LED light "stations".

The installation cost Goldman Properties $30,000, and ran along the entire length of the front of the building, but won them the 1986 City Art Commission award for that year's best art project.