Tribeca’s ‘half bean’ sculpture nearly ready to be seen

Tribeca’s long anticipated “half bean” sculpture is nearly fully baked and ready for the public to view.

The 19-foot-high stainless steel piece could be finished by the end of the summer, a project manager told The Post. The sculpture is the work of British-Indian artist Anish Kapoor, the creator of downtown Chicago’s Cloud Gate — which is better known as “The Bean.”

“We are working really hard to make that happen,” said Mike O’Toole, an engineer who is with the Dash 7 Design firm in Brooklyn.

The sculpture sits at the entrance to 56 Leonard St., the 57-story tower known as the Jenga building for its cantilevered floors. It is tucked into a corner of the property below a second-floor overhang with the top portion of the reflective work clearly visible above green construction fencing.

The work at the corner of Church Street has been in the planning stages since 2008. Construction began in 2019 but was stopped by the COVID-19 pandemic. The slow progress led to the “half bean” moniker although the piece is also said to resemble a squashed balloon.

English artist Anish Kapoor
The sculpture is the work of British-Indian artist Anish Kapoor.
Roberto Serra – Iguana Press/Getty Images

The silvery structure is also smaller than Chicago’s shiny 33-foot-high version, which sits in Millennium Park and has become a major tourist attraction in that city.

But unlike the Windy City’s free-standing version, which visitors can walk under, part of the yet unnamed Tribeca sculpture will be visible only to the well-heeled occupants of the condo tower. Residents include singer Frank Ocean. Comedian Keegan Michael-Key sold his two-bedroom home there last year for $5 million.

The 85-ton sculpture consists of stainless steel plates supported by rods and beams on the interior. The pieces have been in place since October and workers are now smoothing out the ripples in some spots before the work gets a final polishing, O’Toole said.

the bean tribeca
Construction began in 2019 but was stopped by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Helayne Seidman for NY Post
the bean tribeca
Residents are anxious to see the final result.
Helayne Seidman for NY Post

The work was commissioned by the Alexico Group, which developed the building, and reportedly cost upwards of $10 million.

Residents and passersby are anxious to see the final result.

“I love the one in Chicago,” said Molly Forr. “I mean, in an urban sense I like how (this) holds in the corner. I think that the reflections on it are kind of cool.”

chicago bean
The Chicago “bean” has become a major tourist attraction.
Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP via Getty Images

Grant Lewis, who works at a nearby Starbucks, said he thought people might be missing out by not getting to see the whole sculpture.

“If it was to be like a photo attraction, anything like that, you will kind of want to maybe walk around and see your reflection on all sides,” he said. “So only being able to see it from one side, people might think they aren’t getting the full experience.”

But one pedestrian walking by last week was clearly perplexed by the work.

“I thought that the statue was just stuck under the building, and they ended up leaving it there,” said a woman who gave her name as Mary Anne.

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