Interactive art installation coming to Broadway and Canal

P. caught sight of some action at the First National City Bank at 415 Broadway and sure enough, something has taken up residence there and you will never guess what it is…an interactive “art” experience! They open on Nov. 2.

This one is called INTER and it “examines connections between mind, body, & reality across multi-sensory art experiences.” There’s also a King Tut one coming to Pier 36, Monet coming to Wall Street and of course the permanent Hall des Lumieres on Chambers.

According to their website, there will be a series of installations and “digital creations that challenge visitors to immerse themselves in a multi-sensory environment where their presence becomes participation in the creation of art. Filled with powerful spatial narratives, INTER focuses on a joyful vision of well-being between mind, body, and reality.”

More soon when I get in touch. Their press rep sent the pictures below from the current exhibit.

The building has been more or less empty for ages — I checked my own files (duh) and it seems like Walgreen’s opened there in 2015, and Duane Reade sometime after that but before 2018. Citibank moved out in the mid to late ’90s. There were rumblings about an Italian market, but that never came to be. Read about the building’s history here.

I was surprised to see the building itself is not a landmark, though it is in the Tribeca East Historic District, established in 1992. Designed by the distinguished firm of Walker & Gillette, the structure was erected in 1927 for the National City Bank of New York, an institution which descended from Alexander Hamilton’s Federal Bank and developed as a mercantile bank for the cotton, sugar, metal and coal interests. It’s a steel-frame structure sheathed in limestone in the Moderne style, with compact massing, smooth surfaces featuring curved corners and streamlined elements, and bold, abstracted details.


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  1. Last tenant I recall was a Payless Shoe Source. Don’t know when it closed but the most recent Yelp review is from 2014.

  2. There was a Duane Reade there for a while…

    Love this idea and seeing this beautiful building put to good use.

    However, what will they do about the counterfeiters blocking all the sidewalks, and the repeated vandalizing of the building with spray paint?

  3. Hamilton founded the Bank of New York in 1784 and died in 1804.

    National City was the predecessor of Citibank, founded in 1812, at a time when banking was a highly political issue.

    (Hamilton assassin Aaron Burr manipulated the state legislature to approve his bank, a predecessor to J.P. Morgan Chase, by hiding it in his proposal for a chartered water company at a time when the city badly needed fresh water, long before the municipal reservoir system was built.)

    “A new bank for New York supports foreign trade

    “In 1811, a group of merchants takes the first steps towards setting up a new bank to help New York compete with rivals Philadelphia, Boston, and Baltimore

    “As debate on the renewal of the Bank of the United States charter continued into 1811, some New York merchants who were aligned with U.S. President James Madison applied to set up a new bank. Noting that it was easier to do banking in Philadelphia, Boston, and Baltimore than in New York, they petitioned the state assembly on February 11, ‘praying to be incorporated as a banking company.’ They had to wait over a year to see their wishes fulfilled. The first setback came on March 22. Vice President George Clinton’s faction in the state assembly defeated the petition. When it reconvened in 1812, the assembly then faced petitions for the establishment of two more banks from merchants aligned with Clinton and associates of the former Bank of the United States. Enter one Samuel Osgood, elder statesman. He had a plan. The state lawmakers would support the original petition from 1811. He himself would be appointed president of the new bank. The original merchants aligned with Madison would secure half the remaining seats on the board, while the rest would go to the new group of merchants who supported Clinton. Now with broader backing, the charter sailed through the state assembly and, on June 16, 1812, City Bank of New York came into existence. Though Clinton had died of a heart attack three months earlier, his supporters now controlled almost half of the board of the new bank in his home state. With the passing of the charter, the 200-year story of Citibank began.”

  4. That Street is now completed filled with counterfeit goods sold on the ground. The proceeds according to a PBS documentary are among war lords.

    • It is a disgrace, and nothing is done. No law enforcement at all. Sidewalks are impassable. The counterfeit zone, which grows and spreads weekly, taking over more and more space, is a depressing reminder of the city’s decay into lawlessness. Please write 311, the mayor’s office, city council etc. if you are concerned about this.

      Counterfeiting and Piracy Fuel Organized Crime (UN Report):

      Counterfeit Goods: Easy Cash for Criminals and Terrorists
      (US Senate Report):

      • Sunday nights are the absolute worst – the counterfeit bazaar stretches for blocks -not a police officer in sight. Why is this eyesore still going strong? I have made numerous 311 calls about it as I am sure many others have too. Who is benefiting from this street blocking, trashy mess that it is allowed to exist & flourish?

        • Yes, I also have made numerous calls to 311, and the online form repeatedly, about this mess. It has spread to occupy Broadway from Howard to Walker Street, all along Lispenard and Canal between Church and Broadway, and now even part of Church Street. It just keeps expanding. The worst I have ever seen this in my years in NYC. (BTW I see similar smaller setups in other parts of town now as well).

          There are other negative effects of this also, like the incessant public urination by the sellers, the noise and trash left behind, the fact that it unfairly competes with and drives away legitimate businesses which might rent the empty storefronts. For that reason, I hope this art installation succeeds, that they take care of the building, and that it helps to drive away the counterfeiters. Although I suspect the art installation is temporary, and the building will again be empty in a few months. A building like that is worthy of being a permanent branch of a museum, or theatre…or a grand version of something more pragmatic, like a supermarket, for that matter.

          Why don’t the police do anything? I’ve seen them parked right next to it all, or standing around chatting right next to it all, as if oblivious to it. It’s a disgrace. When I spoke with police about it, I was told that they have little or no power to do anything. How can that be?

          Once in a while there is a “raid”…and the next day the sellers are right back there. So obviously the “enforcement” is trivial. Maybe if raids happened every day for a period, that would be the end of it…and police have to be willing to do that again if the problem starts back up.

    • The sidewalks are impassable. Over the summer I spoke with a First Precinct community office and safety officer. They were very thoroughly following up with me on a package that was stolen from our building lobby. They said that in the spring a business improvement division was funded to work in midtown on issues like this, and they had heard they were going to get some officers down to Canal St. soon. But I haven’t seen any improvements?

  5. BORING! Just another immersive copycat. what a waste of time!

  6. How about a restaurant? Poor Tribeca, so starved for restaurants. Or perhaps a CVS — one per block is the goal!

    What the neighborhood really needs of course will never move in: a proper supermarket.