9. Some abandoned parts of Fort Tilden have been converted into art spaces
Fort Tilden has served the Rockaway community with its beaches and open spaces since it ceased its military involvement. Many parts of the old army base have been used for arts events. One such place is the Rockaway Theatre Company‘s home base, the Port Theatre, located at Building T4.
Then there’s this abandoned locomotive warehouse, located near the theatre. Shortly after Hurricane Sandy, musician and artist Patti Smith created an installation called “Resilience of the Dreamer” as part of Rockaway!, a program designed to fund repairs after the storm. The warehouse is closed to the public now, but inside it, Smith’s installation remains, having intentionally been left to rot.
Close by is the Rockaway Artists Alliance, which promotes appreciation through the arts and facilitates arts events all over the Rockaways.
Artists have long been using the Rockaways as their canvas, and many of their installations can still be found around the peninsula. This sculpture, created by Peter Lundberg in 2002, still stands, overlooking the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge. It is an eerie, lifelike mass that is more reminiscent of an organism than a work of art, and if you don’t look too closely, it seems to undulate like the sea.