Photo: Daniel Avila
NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue today joined Socrates Sculpture Park Executive Director Tamsin Dillon, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Socrates Sculpture Park Board Member Stuart Match Suna, City Council Member Julie Won, Community Board 1 Chair Marie Torniali, Socrates Sculpture Park founder & artist Mark di Suvero, and members of the community to officially break ground on “The Cubes,” a new 2,640 square-foot, two-story building that will provide new facilities for the park’s administrative offices, arts education and community work, and opportunities for year-round public programming.
“The new administrative facilities coming to Socrates Sculpture Park, “The Cubes,” are the culmination of almost 30 years of work and advocacy from the community, and I’m so proud that they’re becoming a reality,” said Commissioner Donoghue. “Thanks to Socrates Sculpture Park and all of those that have contributed to this project, our next generation of artists will have a brand new space to explore, learn, and grow in the heart of Astoria.”
“I am thrilled that the construction of The Cubes is under way and that Socrates will very soon have its home in the Park for its staff and its visitors,” said Tamsin Dillon, Executive Director Socrates Sculpture Park. “I can’t wait to see this wonderful building, designed by LOT-EK, come to fruition and to be able to celebrate with our partners and funders and with our community. We are especially grateful to our wonderful supporter and Trustee, Stuart Match Suna, for his generous gift as part of the funding for the building. This project is a game-changer for this unique and special place; part of our plans for a sustainable and a resilient future.”
Designed by the innovative architecture studio LOT-EK, “The Cubes” will house a brand new park facility, constructed from up-cycled shipping containers honoring the neighborhood’s industrial roots. The new building will have two main functions: to serve as administrative offices for the Socrates Sculpture Park, and to provide an indoor space for curatorial, educational, and community programming during the fall and winter months of the school year.
The $5,735,000 million project was made possible thanks to the Office of the Queens Borough President, City Council, and a generous private donation from Stuart Match Suna. Completion is expected in early 2024.
“Socrates Sculpture Park is one of The World’s Borough true cultural gems and critical hub of artistry, expression and education. With ‘The Cubes,’ the park and its dedicated staff will be able to touch the lives of residents from across Queens all year long,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “Congratulations to the Socrates Sculpture Park team on today’s groundbreaking and I look forward to cutting the ribbon on this stellar and sustainable space in short order.”
“I am proud to participate in Socrates Sculpture Park’s mission of bringing the Arts to the New York City community,” emphasized Stuart Match Suna, Socrates Sculpture Park Board Member. “Socrates’s programming for our local youth population is a critical asset to help foster creativity and innovation for a better future. I look forward to seeing what great work comes out of this space.”
“I am happy to support sustainable and environmentally friendly projects like The Cubes,” said Council Member Julie Won. “Now the staff and educational programs at Socrates Sculpture Park will finally have a permanent home! Thank you to Queens Borough President Donovan Richards for partnering with us to fund this project.”
“Socrates Sculpture Park is a treasured institution in our neighborhood. The Cubes are characteristic of Socrates as innovator, community collaborator and arts educator – as evidenced by the use of shipping containers honoring this area’s industrial roots,” exclaimed Marie Torniali , Chair of Community Board 1 in Queens. “While the Cubes could no doubt stand alone as a wonderful architectural achievement, it will also provide indoor space for programming during winter months, a great amenity for the community and beyond. “