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Theater in the Empty Lot? Architect Trying to Make It Happen


Imagine the graffitied lot at 35 Cooper Square hosting free theater by La MaMa. Or how about food vendors setting up at the corner plot where a historic row house was demolished over a year ago.

That’s what Eric Ho has in mind for some of the 212 empty lots and storefronts he has identified in the East Village and Lower East Side.

“How can we transform these underutilized spaces into valuable resources for local residents?” Mr. Ho, an architect, asked in a mission statement for Made in Lower East Side (MiLES). The project, dedicated to filling vacant lots with community groups, artistic events and small vendors, has been in the works since February and is still in its nascent stages. Earlier this month, Mr. Ho received what he said was a positive response from Community Board 3’s Economic Development committee, and last week he met up with graduate students from New York University’s Wagner School to gauge their interest in becoming involved. Read more…