New York City is rich in history, so it only makes sense that authorities would be interested in preserving the city’s modern history as well. To that end, here are a few projects that have been designed to help preserve the city’s history for people to enjoy now and in the future.
Subway Therapy Sticky Notes to be Preserved
The New York Historical Society has announced plans to preserve the “Subway Therapy” sticky notes that have turned into a massive public art project in the city. With plans to recognize the art as a historical artifact, the public art project began on a wall in the Union Square subway station. Following the 2016 presidential election, artist Matthew Levee Chavez invited commuters to share their post-election feelings on Post-Its. Over the months that followed, the project grew to include thousands of sticky notes spread throughout the halls of the subway station. These notes offer messages of anger, hope, solidarity and more.
The impromptu project has gained the attention of Governor Cuomo as well as the New York Historical Society, with the governor recently announcing that the sticky notes will be preserved with the help of the society. While the MTA has already started the process of removing the notes, the museum will collect and preserve a large portion of the notes. The society will also continue the project at its Upper West Side headquarters, with people being invited to leave messages at the museum’s entryway anytime between now and Inauguration Day.
According to Chavez, he started the project in an effort to give people the opportunity to express their thoughts while feeling less alone. He also hoped the project would help to expose people to the opinions of others, thereby making the project more about inclusion, peaceful expression and stress relief. Governor Cuomo himself has left a message on the wall, quoting Emma Lazarus’s poem “The New Colossus,” which is inscribed on the Station of Liberty. Cuomo has gone on to say that the project is a “powerful symbol” demonstrating that people of all backgrounds can come together to say they will not be torn apart.
World Trade Center Time Capsule to Reopen
The travertine-paved passageway connecting the Chambers Street subway station to the World Trade Center Transportation Hub recently reopened, though the significance of the reopening may be lost on those who were not familiar with the area prior to the 9/11 attacks. Serving as a time capsule of sorts, the newly re-opened passageway looks just as it did in the 1970s. One difference, however, is that one of the doors bears the markings “MATF 1” and “9 13” in graffiti, both of which were marked on the door in order to tell rescue and recovery workers that the area had been searched on September 13th by the Massachusetts Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue Team.
The door has been encased with protective glass and was one of the artifacts that helped the transportation hub secure federal funding. To receive the funding, the Port Authority was required to “salvage, preserve, or document remnant and artifacts of the trade center” as described by the National Historic Preservation Act. As such, the authority agreed to incorporate pieces from the original hub, including the overhead signs in the Chambers Street corridor, handrails, doors, steps and travertine flooring. Signs on the passageway’s walls and the MATF 1 door further help to explain the significance of these design elements.