Steven Stollman at 704 Columbia Street
Who remembers the bicycle shop around Houston and Mulberry Streets in downtown New York?
Steven Stollman, pictured above, used to own and run that bicycle shop by the Puck Building from 1974-2010. He has owned 704 Columbia Street (former home of WGXC radio) on 7th Street Park for the past ten years. Steven just sold the building, and for the next two weeks, until October 9th, he is opening up the ground floor for visitors to his art gallery.
The show is a combination of two shows, Going Nowhere Fast and The Mulberry Street Gang. Going Nowhere Fast, initially shown in 1991 at the Municipal Arts Society in Manhattan, focuses on the need for human and solar-powered transportation. Thirty years later, Steven notes that not much has changed in transportation options, “We really have gone nowhere fast.”
The Mulberry Street Gang focuses on some of the men during the early 1890’s who lived and worked in and around the Puck Building – Theodore Roosevelt (US president), Nikola Tesla (scientist), Mark Twain (writer), Jacob Riis (photographer), and Joseph Keppler (founder of Puck Magazine). There are pictures and descriptions of each man in the windows. All men, contributed to social change, in their own form.
Why is he selling the building? “If Marina had continued with her space, then this would have been a cafe or art gallery,” Stollman says of 704 Columbia. The performance artist Marina Abramovic owned the large “Tennis Courts” building next door and had plans for a large arts space. Abramovic sold the building about a year ago and the idea for a performance arts space in the “Tennis Courts” building vanished.
Stollman will keep the space open until October 9th when the new owners arrive, and his posters and artwork will be on display. The downstairs will be open to the public from about noon to 5pm. “I want to say goodbye to the building”, says Stollman.
Steven Stollman also bought one of the last automats that was sold out of a storage center in Brooklyn.
Parts of the automat are on display in the space.