Christo: The Gates, Project for Central Park, New York City

Drawing, 1980

Pencil and charcoal

42 x 65 inches

©1980 Christo

1980

On April 22, 1980, Christo, Jeanne-Claude and their attorney Theodore W. Kheel explained The Gates, Project for Central Park to the Commissioner of Parks and Recreation of the City of New York, Gordon J. Davis (on the right), at his office in the Central Park Arsenal. The artists brought original drawings and books about some of their realized projects.

1980

On June 9, 1980, Christo and Jeanne-Claude paid a visit to their long-time friend Henry Geldzahler, then the Commissioner of Cultural Affairs (second from the left) and former Curator of 20th Century Art at the Metropolitan Museum. He and his assistant Randall Bourscheidt tried to find ways to help the artists in New York City’s tightrope exercise in negotiations.

1981

 

In February 1981, the permit for The Gates, Project for Central Park, New York City was denied by the commissioner of parks and recreation.

 

2002

Christo: The Gates, Project for Central Park, New York City

Collage, 2002

©2002 CHRISTO

 

2002

Vladimir Yavachev (far left), son of Christo’s elder brother and project assistant since 1991, and Jonita Davenport (far right), a team member since 1990 and project director of The Gates, measure the width of a walkway. Between them are Sylvia Volz (wife of photographer Wolfgang Volz), Simon Chaput (team member since 1985), art historian and author Masa Yanagi (team member since 1983) holding the distance wheel, and Jeanne-Claude, while Vince Davenport and Christo are marking the measurements on a map.

 

2002

In June 2002, Adam Kaufman, Central Park Director of Night and Weekend Operations (on the left) and Douglas Blonsky, Central Park Administrator (on the right) are showing Christo and Jeanne-Claude the many low branches above the walkways, where the 16 feet tall Gates cannot fit on that portion of the walkway.

 

 

 

2003

On January 22, 2003 during his press conference at the Arsenal in Central Park, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announces that a 43 page contract has been signed between the City and the artists, giving Christo and Jeanne-Claude permission to create The Gates, Central Park, 1979–2005. From left to right: Christo, Jeanne-Claude, Michael Bloomberg, Adrian Benepe, Commissioner of Parks and Recreation, Gordon Davis, former Commissioner of Parks and Recreation, Kate Levin, Commissioner of Cultural Affairs, Patricia Harris, Deputy Mayor, Regina Peruggi, President of the Central Park Conservancy, and Douglas Blonsky, Central Park Administrator.

 

 

 

 

Christo: The Gates, Project for Central Park, New York City

Drawing 2004   In two parts: 15x96 inches and 42x96 inches

Pencil, charcoal, pastel, way crayon,  fabric sample, aerial photograph, tape and hand-drawn technical data. ©2004CHRISTO Ref. 047

 
2003

119,556 miles of nylon thread, extruded in saffron color, are being woven into 1,006, 620 square feet of recyclable rip-stop nylon fabric at the J.Schilgen Company in Emsdetten, Germany. The fabric will then be shipped to the sewing
factory.

2003

At Bieri-Zeltaplan in Taucha, Germany, the fabric is cut and sewn into 7,500 panels. Here Maria Lehmann joins the fold of a sewn panel to the “bolt rope” (a piece of it is on her shoulder). At the Queens assembly plant, the “bolt rope” will be inserted into the sail tunnel of the horizontal vinyl pole. The sewing will require 46 miles of hems.

2003

At the Gupta Permold plant, outside Pittsburgh, PA, 15,000 upper corner sleeves, which connect the two vertical poles to the horizontal pole, have been cast and after they have been cleaned, they are shipped to the Queens assembly plant.

2003

At the C.C. Lewis steel plant in Springfield, MA, Ian Smith is removing snag from the weld points where the bases and the “feet” have been welded together. The length, thickness, width and weight of the base weights, including the “feet” vary with the width of the walkways. There are 23 different widths in the 23 miles (37 kilometers) of the walkways used for The Gates in Central Park. The average dimensions of the bases are: 48˝ x 6˝ x 12˝, 750 pounds. For the 18-foot-wide walkways, the base weights have to be heavier: 60˝ x 6.5˝ x 12˝, 835 pounds. Only the 12˝ x 12˝ area of the “feet” will rest on the hard surface of the walkways in Central Park.

 

2003

At the North American Profiles Group plant in Holmes, NY, outside of Poughkeepsie, the 5 x 5 inch-wide, vinyl poles are being extruded, non-stop, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Ms. Jade Wu, machine operator, plunges the end of the vacuum hose into the PVC compound powder, leading to the extruder that will process the material, heating it to 375 degrees as it is forced through the extrusion die.

 

2003-2004

Materials are delivered weekly from the seven United States manufacturers to the 25,000 square foot assembly plant and to the storage in Queens, NY. Vince Davenport, chief engineer and director of construction and Jonita Davenport, project director, lead a team of workers through four different work stations to complete the sawing, drilling and bolting operations for the various components of The Gates.

 

2004

At the assembly plant in Queens, after having opened the cocoon in which the fabric panel had been shipped, Johnny Freidhoff and Steven Tomlinson insert the “bolt rope” sewn at the top of the fabric panel, into the “sail tunnel” of the horizontal pole.

 

 

 

2004

During September and October 2004, Vince Davenport, Vladimir Yavachev and Steven Tomlinson marked the locations of the 7,500 steel bases on the hard surface of the 23 miles (37 km) walkways in Central Park. Professional workers start installing the 15,000 steel bases on January 3, 2005.

 

 

 

 

2004

 

A stencil made by Vince Davenport, in the shape of a maple leaf, indicates the gate’s location. The green maple leaf is the logo of the Parks Department throughout the City’s five boroughs.

 

 

 

 

2004

Vince Davenport records on his two year old maps the many corrections of the locations of the gates. Because the Parks Department cut some low branches, 315 gates were added, while nature made many low branches grow above the walkways, and 361 gate’s locations were removed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHRISTO: THE GATES, PROJECT FOR CENTRAL PARK, NEW YORK CITY.

Drawing 2002   In two parts 38 x 244 cm and 106,6 x 244 cm, (15x96” and 42x96”)

Pencil, charcoal, pastel, wax crayon, photograph of Wolfgang Volz, fabric sample and aerial photograph. Photo: Wolfgang Volz, Copyright Christo 2002 Ref.: 029

 

all images ©Wolfgang Volz 1970-2007 and ©Christo 1970-2007

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