Brooklyn Bucolic, 2012
The landmarked Station House at Avenue H in Midwood, Brookyln was originally built at the turn of the century as a real estate office for the surrounding community of Fiske Terrace, an early example of planned suburban development and a neighborhood which is graced by well-kept homes and landscaped streets. When the station was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 2004, the Commission wrote that Avenue H is “the city’s only shingled wooden cottage turned transit station house". To celebrate this uniquely charming site, artist Ed Kopel animates the exterior of the building with his new piece, Brooklyn Bucolic, transforming an unused colonnade into an active community porch.
The artwork, along the north and east façades of the Station House, consists of casual groupings of cast bronze rocking chairs, anchored in place. The chairs are modeled upon rockers produced by the Shaker Community in Mount Lebanon, New York during last quarter of the 19th Century and the first quarter of the 20th – a timeframe contemporaneous with the development of Fiske Terrace from the establishment of the Brighton Line in 1878 to the completion of home construction in the 1920’s. Each has a unique patina treatment to make them more inviting and appropriate to a cozy porch setting.
The chairs vary in size accommodating a variety of users and suggesting a dialogue among them. Each chair, though similar in style to one another, is subtly different with a variety of weaves, colors and patterns. The colors of the rocking chairs recall and harmonize with the decorative hues of the surrounding Queen Anne and Colonial houses. Brooklyn Bucolic is, in part, an effort to recall the graciousness of front-porch society from days gone by. The chairs were fabricated by JP Parnas Woodworking and Polich Tallix.
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