Sign not of the times: Old meets new at Slope’s Stone House • Brooklyn Paper

Sign not of the times: Old meets new at Slope’s Stone House

A light-up sign has changed the look of the Old Stone House in Park Slope — but it won’t be there for long.
Photo by Bryan Bruchman

Don’t worry history buffs: the bright flashing sign adorning one of Park Slope’s most famous historical landmarks isn’t a Las Vegas-style advertisement. It’s art!

The hard-to-miss blinking sign hanging from the Old Stone House — a legendary Revolutionary War site that looks much the same as it did when Gen. George Washington’s men fought the British in front of it — is actually a statement about imagination and perfection, museum employees say.

“It explores varying ideas about utopia,’ ” said Meredith Hackett, whose community organization is housed inside the reconstructed 1699 Dutch farmhouse off Fifth Avenue and Third Street. “It flashes, ‘Come play with me.’ ”

Hackett said the piece is one part of the space’s “Brooklyn Utopia: Park Playspace” exhibit, which features other works in less prominent positions inside and upstairs.

The sign, designed by artist Tamara Gayer, will come down by the end of June, Hackett said.

Park Slope preservationists aren’t giving the artwork a good review — but say it’s fine so long as it’s temporary.

Park Slope historian Francis Morrone compared the idea of hanging a flashy sign from the historic building to artist Jeanne-Claude’s “The Gates,” a massive outdoor exhibition that brought thousands of orange gates and flags to Central Park.

“If it is temporary artwork, even if it’s unsightly, preservation practice basically says it’s okay,” he said.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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