On February 16th, the Garment District Alliance (GDA) unveiled its new Big Button sculpture in the heart of the Garment District on Fashion Avenue (Seventh) and 39thStreet, replacing the information kiosk and featuring an updated installation that references the neighborhood’s history.
Partners, supporters and community members joined GDA to mark the momentous occasion with a ribbon cutting ceremony, featuring music by Diverse Concert Artists. In attendance, Barbara A. Blair, President of the Garment District Alliance, Council Member Erik Bottcher, Council Member Keith Powers, NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez, NYC SBS Commissioner Kevin Kim, Steven Kolb, Chief Executive Officer of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), and Steve Kaufman, President of the Kaufman Organization and Vice Chairman of the Garment District Alliance Board of Directors.
“The famed Button & Needle structure has been a landmark in the Garment District for decades, representing NYC’s prominent fashion industry and serving as a beloved symbol of our neighborhood and its rich history,” said Barbara A. Blair, president of the GDA. “We are thrilled to unveil a newly designed structure that will pay tribute to the original Button & Needle while serving as an outstanding piece of public art.”
Designed by Local Projects and UAP Company, the new version of the Big Button is supported by a “thread” element that further articulates its pop art concept. The sculpture stands at 28 feet tall with a 15-foot diameter aluminum button and 32-foot brushed stainless steel needle, creating a dynamic experience for pedestrians, while improving sight lines and enhancing the pedestrian flow on Seventh Avenue. The new Big Button is the Garment District’s first permanent public art installation.
Find The Big Button on Fashion Avenue (Seventh Avenue) and 39th Street in the Garment District.
Take a look back at the old Button (below)
You might also like to know that the design-build firm, UAP Company, most recently created the current Public Art Fund installation ‘Ancestor‘ by artist Bharti Kher, on view to August 27, 2023, and Studio Museum in Harlem’s Thomas J. Price sculpture, ‘The Distance Within‘ which was on view in Marcus Garvey Park in 2021/2022.
Located next to TheBigButton is the permanent installation, Judith Weller: Garment Worker. This is an 8-foot bronze sculpture created as a realistic rendering of a garment worker, wearing a yarmulke and hunched over a hand-operated sewing machine. It was created by artist Judith Weller (b. 1937 in Tel Aviv, Israel). The sculpture is modeled after the artist’s father, who was a machine operator in the New York Garment Industry.