Developer Features Museum-Quality Artwork

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorWestchester, N.Y.–Following a growing trend, Valhalla, N.Y.-based Ginsburg Development Cos., a developer of residential and mixed-use communities, has included museum-quality artwork in many of its new projects, including Knickerbocker Lofts in New Rochelle, N.Y., Riverwatch in Yonkers, N.Y.  and The Harbors at Haverstraw, Haverstraw, N.Y.“People are becoming more sophisticated. We live with so much visual influence and people have higher expectations,” says Susan Newman, a partner at Knickerbocker New Rochelle LLC, a partnership between New York’s Urban Green Builders and Ginsburg Development Cos., and curator of the collections at Knickerbocker Lofts and Riverwatch. “The trend will be most obvious in multifamily housing, where there are public common spaces.”In its lobby, social rooms and hallways, the Knickerbocker Lofts features wood and metal sculptures that reflect the building’s industrial look. This includes metal Chinese-language characters and nineteenth-century Hampatong statues, which were traditionally used to ward off evil spirits. Additionally, to complement the industrial feel, planter boxes were built out of hot-rolled steel, explains Newman. “It’s not just housing; it’s a whole built environment.”The high-rise Riverwatch features a gallery of Joseph Squillante and Maxine Short photographs. Images are located at every floor’s elevator lobby, providing residents with a slideshow-like series of photographs. The collection begins in the lobby with abstract paintings by local artists.The Harbors at Haverstraw, a mixed-use community, features a waterfront promenade with monumental sculptures that are part of the Hudson River sculpture trail, a project whose goal is bring to 100 outdoor sculptures to the river’s edge by September 2009. The trail will stretch from Manhattan to Saratoga.“I believe that art should be affordable and attainable for everyone,” says Newman. “In every region, there is a strong network of local working artists. Given that there is always affordable art to be had, I think this can be brought into any housing project.”