Photo Liza Béar December 19 2007
From the film Squaring Off, work-in-progress, recorded at the Landmarks Commission 2005.
On the night of January 23, 1917, Marcel Duchamp and his friends found the doorway to the staircase and climbed to the top of the Washington Square Arch where they famously issued a proclamation: "Whereas, whereas whereas.......we hereby declare Greenwich Village to be an independent republic. " At the public hearing on May 10, 2005, this quote was met with wild applause by the audience but had absolutely no effect whatsoever on the Landmarks Commissioners (all political appointees). A week later, Landmarks ignoring their own mandate to protect designated landmarks announced their ruling in favor of Parks' bulldozing of Washington Square (the word 'redesign'
really seems inappropriate at this stage of the game).