The artist who created the Department of Building’s most-hated — and Clinton Hill’s most-beloved — building could soon be bringing his artistic vision (and code violations, critics say) to a wider audience.
Broken Angel creator Arthur Wood, and his new business partner, Shahn Christian Andersen, want to do more than just rebuild Wood’s Downing Street ziggurat — the building out of which Wood was hauled by the NYPD last year because it had so many structural flaws.
“I plan on using him to design my future developments,” said Andersen, who has rebuilt or developed about a dozen buildings in his six-year career.
Andersen recently emerged as the savior of the Broken Angel when he agreed to finance the conversion of the building-cum-sculpture into condominiums and a community space within its existing shell.
Wood told The Stoop that he’s eager to expand his decades-long effort to beautify the Brooklyn skyline.
“I’d be very happy to do [work with Shahn],” said Wood. “We’re both pretty tired of what the building industry has been doing to New York, with the same old architecture.
“Look back at Victorian times, when they built houses that were beautiful,” said Wood. “They had a little pride in what they built.”
After Wood’s arrest, neighborhood activists flocked to the artist’s aid. With the backing of Pratt Institute and Councilwoman Letitia James (D–Fort Greene), Wood was able to make a deal with the Department of Buildings to move back in if he took down the unsafe upper portion of his building and performed other structural work.
But Woods had no money to make repairs. That is, until Andersen stepped in. Now, supporters are thrilled that Wood might design other inimitable structures with quirky names.
“What a great idea!” exclaimed Roslyn Huebener, of Aguayo and Huebener Real Estate. “Shahn Andersen is a visionary.”
Andersen wouldn’t say exactly what projects he would be asking Wood to design, but hinted at “a big project for 2008.”
“I expect it to look more creative than anything Frank Gehry has done in 30 years,” he said.