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Alan Schindler

A Hudson Yards construction site is now a magical realist art installation

"Citrovia" is an Instagram-ready scene of LED-lit lemon trees.

Written by
André Wheeler

When life hands you hands you lemons… turn them into a Midtown Manhattan public art installation? 

A quirky new immersive art installation at Manhattan West, a mixed-use property, adds a citrusy, subtropical vibe that positively contrasts to the gray towers popping up around the area. Think Florida, but in Midtown.

According to Fast Company, the project, titled Citrovia, is part of developer Brookfield Properties making creative use of ongoing construction occurring on the $5 billion development that is Manhattan West (which, once entirely completed in 2023, will feature a 62-story residential tower, office space, and a hotel). So, in a community-minded effort to beautify construction efforts, giant lemon slices and poppy artificial lemon trees now sit underneath a construction shed. The lush landscape, like something plucked straight out of a Gabriel García Márquez novel, makes for the perfect social media post. Each lemon on the 16-and-a-half foot lemon trees was painted by hand.  

The world of Citrovia at Manhattan West is unlike anything else, and we are so excited to welcome visitors into this fully immersive, magical experience. In reimagining an otherwise utilitarian construction shed,” said Sara Fay, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Brookfield Properties, who also noted that the space is free and open to everyone.  “We’re so grateful to the hundreds of talented New Yorkers who have hand-painted and crafted each of thousands of lemons, leaves and trees in our larger-than-life and stranger-than-fiction lemon garden in the heart of the Big Apple.” 

Citrovia is set to sit at the Manhattan West construction site over the next two years. In addition, the Manhattan West public plaza will soon feature live art and performances as well. The interesting construction-site art piece is right next to Hudson Yards mall and the High Line, making it worthy of a visit next time you visit Manhattan's latest it-neighborhood. 

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