The plot’s owner, commercial developer Trinity Real Estate, has plans to build there eventually, but in the meantime, it has turned the site over to the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) to use as a temporary cultural space. LMCC curator Adam Kleinman enlisted the New York firm Interboro Partners to design the project, which opened in September and occupies the majority of a 27,000-square-foot city block. From dawn to dusk, the public can explore the site, where the firm has created a hybrid sculpture park, event space, and tree nursery.
The organizers have named it LentSpace to reflect its transitory nature—temporarily existing somewhere between a public sculpture park and a walled-off private lot. The firm’s scheme, which cost a little more than $500,000 to construct (the total project budget is close to $1 million), teases the distinction between public and private urban space by taking up the material vocabulary of a building site.