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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 25, 2005
No. 014
www.nyc.gov/parks

NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF PARKS & RECREATION REMINDS PUBLIC IT’S THE LAST WEEKEND TO VIEW THE GATES IN CENTRAL PARK

Artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude Announce Details of the Removal of The Gates

The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe and Central Park Conservancy President Doug Blonsky today reminded New Yorkers and visitors that this is the last weekend to view The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005. The temporary work of art, funded entirely by the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, is on display through Sunday, February 27, 2005. The materials for The Gates will begin to be removed from Central Park on Monday, February 28, 2005.

"The sight of so many visitors in Central Park in mid-February has been nearly as thrilling as The Gates itself," said Commissioner Benepe. "New Yorkers have been seeing Central Park in a new way, discovering the unique beauty that distinguishes the Park during the winter. If you haven’t seen The Gates yet, and even if you already have, take advantage of the last weekend of this extraordinary experience."

"We look forward to seeing record numbers of people this weekend enjoying The Gates and the Park," said Doug Blonsky, President of the Central Park Conservancy and Administrator of the Park. "The snow will only add to the beauty of both works of art."

"It is with mixed emotions that we begin the removal process," said Vince Davenport, Chief Engineer and Director of Construction for The Gates. "The positive public response to The Gates has been overwhelming and I am very gratified that so many visitors to Central Park have enjoyed The Gates. We will remove all components from the Park in the same coordinated and carefully planned manner in which we installed the project. Public safety and protection of the Park remain our first priorities. We anticipate that the removal process will take approximately two weeks, so there will still be Gates for the public to enjoy for a bit longer."

On the morning of Monday, February 28, The Gates removal process will begin in Central Park. Three hundred workers in teams of eight to ten, employed by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, will take down and remove the components of The Gates. The materials will be transported from the Park over approximately two weeks, weather permitting.

The artists have arranged for all components of The Gates to be recycled following their removal. The materials will be recycled for use in a variety of industrial applications. The recycling involves several different processing methods, and will take place at various locations throughout the United States.

The Gates is composed of 7,503 gates on 23 of Central Park’s 58 miles of pathway. Each gate is 16 feet tall, and varies in width from 5 feet 6 inches to 18 feet, based upon the 25 different widths of paved paths. The work of art is on display throughout Central Park from 59th to 110th Streets. It is free and open to all. Park hours are from dawn until 1:00 a.m.

The Dairy Visitor Center & Gift Shop and Chess & Checkers Gallery in the Park will continue to sell Gates merchandise. They are open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All proceeds from this merchandise benefit Nurture New York’s Nature Inc. (a nonprofit supporting arts and the environment), Central Park and other New York City parks. Merchandise is also available at: www.centralparknyc.org. Christo and Jeanne-Claude receive no income from the sales.

Information on Materials and Recycling:

  • 5,290 tons of steel (equivalent to 2/3 the steel in the Eiffel Tower) were used to make the 15,006 specially-designed bases for The Gates. Due to the 25 different widths of paved paths in Central Park, the weight of the steel bases ranges from 615 to 837 pounds each. The bases, steel leveling plates and 165,000 nuts and bolts will be melted down and used to manufacture steel re-bar, steel plate, steel coil or other similar products. High impact polystyrene, used in the construction of the leveling plates, will be utilized in items that require impact strength, such as luggage trim. The base safety cones, which were removed during the installation process, were constructed of polypropylene, which will be recycled and can be molded into items such as flowerpots.
  • 15,006 (8 x 8 x 8 inch) vinyl leveling plate covers were used to hide the bolts on the bases. The five-inch square vertical and horizontal poles, secured by the bases, were extruded in 60 miles of saffron colored vinyl. For each gate, there are two vertical 16-foot long poles, and one horizontal pole (ranging between 5 feet 6 inches and 18 feet, depending on the width of the walkways). All of the vinyl will be processed in large capacity grinders and used to manufacture products such as PVC pipe, vinyl fence, and the inner cores of paint rollers and tool handles.
  • 15,006 specially-designed, recyclable, cast aluminum upper corner reinforcements were used to join the two vertical poles to the horizontal pole. The aluminum corner and base sleeves will be recycled to make industrial products, such as aluminum gutters or aluminum sheeting.
  • To create the saffron-colored panels, 116,389 miles of nylon thread was manufactured in saffron color and specially woven into 1,067,330 square feet of rip-stop nylon fabric. The nylon fabric will be re-manufactured into new nylon thread and used in the production of fabric products. The fabric may also be ground into a filler and used in such products as carpet underlayment.

For more information on The Gates, please visit www.nyc.gov/thegates and

www.christojeanneclaude.net.

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