An Artistic Tour of Tribeca

In the 1970s, Tribeca was a hub for art and artists, who transformed its sprawling historic industrial spaces into their own living and working spaces. Now catering more toward fashionable eateries and well-decorated apartments, the spirit of Tribeca arts is still alive, with an array of public art, galleries and art spaces within walking distance of The Roxy Hotel. Grab a coffee downstairs at Jack’s, and spend an afternoon taking in Lower Manhattan’s art and historic architecture.

Mmuseumm | 4 Cortlandt Alley, between Franklin & White Streets

Only in New York! Set in a former freight elevator, the Mmuseumm is the city’s tiniest, measuring just 20 square feet in total, and regularly exhibiting an array of eccentric collections. The museum just expanded to a second storefront window space around the corner.

Postmasters Gallery | 54 Franklin Street, between Cortlandt Alley & Lafayette Street

The seminal East Village gallery made it’s way to Tribeca in 2013, to open a gigantic 4,500 square foot space. Their program consists of artworks that are generally content oriented, conceptually based, and – most importantly – reflective of our time.

Mudd Club | 77 White Street, between Cortlandt Alley & Lafayette Street

Everyone who became someone hung out at Tribeca’s Mudd Club from 1978 until 1983. The fourth floor of the loft, once owned by Ross Bleckner, was a gallery curated by Keith Haring, and it epitomized the polar opposite of the glitz and glamor of Studio 54. Although it’s long gone, you can still walk by and dream of an edgier New York.

Apexart | 291 Church Street, between White & Walker Streets

The non-profit organization has held residence in Lower Manhattan since 1994, supporting artists through exhibitions and fellowships, while also engaging the local community with free exhibitions, artist talks, performances and other events in Tribeca.

Albert Capsouto Park | Canal Street, between Laight & Varick Streets

The tiny triangular park is home to a 114-foot long fountain, which is really a sculpture by artist Elyn Zimmerman, paying tribute to the locks system that once flowed along Canal Street. The park’s small green space is also often home to changing public art installations.

Jeff Koons, “Balloon Flower (Red)” | 7 World Trade Center, between Vesey & Barclay Streets

Head straight down West Broadway just past Barclay Street to experience this glistening Jeff Koons piece. In the summer, it doubles as a arty fountain, giving a cooling relief while you sit on the surrounding benches marveling at the oversized balloon, which is actually an up-beat homage to 9/11 survivors.

Jenny Holzer , “For 7 World Trade” | 7 World Trade Center (Lobby), between Vesey & Barclay Streets

Visible from the outside, Holzer’s 65-foot LED installation consistently pulls text about New York City history, glowing brightly blue at night. Lines by Elizabeth Bishop, Allen Ginsberg, Langston Hughes, and Walt Whitman drift across the giant screen in five feet letters, taking a full 36 hours to watch and read in its entirety.

Words by Lori Zimmer