When Richard Serra Dominated Tribeca


This will not be news to those of you who have lived in the area for decades, but it’s encouraging for everyone who has ever hoped that the Port Authority might (once again) allow the circular area surrounded by the Holland Tunnel off-ramp to be put to some cool use. From April 24, 1980, to January 30, 1987, the circle was home to a massive Richard Serra sculpture: “Arc, which reveals a fresh departure in the artist’s work to date, consists of 12’ x 40’ steel plates, which form a 200’ arc,” said the Public Art Fund. (Serra lives on Duane, which if I don’t mention someone else will.) I’ve included all of the Public Art Fund’s photos, even ones that are redundant or don’t show the work at all, for the glimpses they offer of the surrounding area.

richard-serra-st-johns-rotary-arc-courtesy-public-art-fund2-flopped richard-serra-st-johns-rotary-arc-courtesy-public-art-fund3-floppedrichard-serra-st-johns-rotary-arc-courtesy-public-art-fund4richard-serra-st-johns-rotary-arc-courtesy-public-art-fund5richard-serra-st-johns-rotary-arc-courtesy-public-art-fund6What’s more, from April 24, 1980, to July 30, 1981, another Serra sculpture, T.W.U., was at Finn Square.

richard-serra-twu-courtesy-public-art-fund richard-serra-twu-courtesy-public-art-fund2 richard-serra-twu-courtesy-public-art-fund3 richard-serra-twu-courtesy-public-art-fund4 richard-serra-twu-courtesy-public-art-fund6 richard-serra-twu-courtesy-public-art-fund7-flopped

And of course there was Tilted Arc, the story of which will leave to another day. (Thanks to Matthew for the heads-up about this!)



  1. Tilted, not Titled

  2. Great pictures of “olde” Tribeca- only quibble is shots 1, 2, 3, 12 are flopped (backwards).

  3. Ugh, that’s how they were on the Public Art Fund site. Will try to fix but it may not happen for a while

  4. Old timer, here. Oh how I miss those pieces.

  5. Where are these pieces now?

  6. Thanks for sharing these. We need more Serra (and the old PAF projects in general) back in our lives!

    • Hi James, what were the PAF projects? Did you by any chance know my dad or his honor system shop Things for Sale? I’m searching for information about him down in Tribeca in the 70s. Thanks.

  7. Nice article, my dad was friends with Serra in the 70s and 80s although I’m not sure when exactly. I share his name, and to be honest am looking for information on his activities and work, as well as information on a shop he had called “Things for Sale” on white and church street, a stones throw from finn sq. I didn’t have the chance to hear many of those stories but I know he was a big part of the community. If anyone knew him in the 70s and wants to contact me about Michael Gruters please feel be my guest.