New York Daily Photo Analytics

Monday, October 22, 2007

Tower of Toys

The Tower of Toys has been well known to habitues of the East Village and even to some from outside this country - buses of Japanese tourists would occasionally visit. Click here for more photos. This structure is the creation of Eddie Boros, an extraordinarily eccentric character who lived his entire life on 5th Street, around the corner from where this tower is located in the Sixth Street & Avenue B Garden. He was the son of Hungarian immigrants, a house painter and a seamstress. Boros served in the Army during the Korean War, but was such an adamant pacifist that he was put on a detail planting trees. In 1985 Boros began carving large wood sculptures in the middle of this garden, but this was met with opposition from other garden members. He was told to confine his work to one 4' x 8' plot, but eventually this expanded to several plots. Boros, with a passion for reuse of discarded things, decorated his 65 foot tower (which he named My Baby) with items scavenged from the neighborhood. Boros was known for climbing to the top of the tower and beating a drum or blowing a horn. The tower appeared for a time in the opening shots for the television show NYPD Blue. A 1/2 scale version also appeared in the musical RENT. His structure was always controversial and a bone of contention with other members of the garden. It will be interesting to see what the future has in store now that Boros has passed away ...

NOTE: Boros died April 27,2007 at the age of 74 while recuperating after having both legs amputated above the knee.

11 comments:

Lucy said...

He sounds like the very definition of the "outsider" artist...
I love those people who, especially in the southern states and now we see that there are some here in NYC, do things like cover their houses entirely with mother of pearl buttons off the old clothes of the town inhabitants, or paint their cars with religious visions, or otherwise build things driven by true and powerful inspiration. It's probably the kind of motivation that got humans creating art and architecture and language in the first place...

Ithaca Night Life, NY said...

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maria elisa said...

Love the sculpture

Anne Corrons said...

thanks for this picture. I realize that I really do not know the East Village!!!! I should take a look, soon!

Chris said...

Very interesting! Thanks for the information on the sculpture. . .I love knowing the background on things!

claudine said...

Merci de m'avoir fait découvrir cet artiste.

Annie said...

What memorials, both your comments and his creation!

Cacafuego said...

I used to live around the corner from the Avenue B Garden, on E.3rd and remember when it was only 25 feet tall or so and topped by a vintage rocking horse. I remember seeing the artist once or twice--even tried to compliment him on his work. He acted as if I'd spit on him. Very strange man.

Annie said...

So interesting. Love the sculpture, the photo and the info.

PeruGrrrl said...

Hi Brian,

I'm writing an article about cool things to do in NYC for a Minneapolis magazine and I want to include the Tower of Toys. Unfortunately we do not have a photo of it or a photographer who can get one on short notice.

I found your pictures and I was wondering if we could use one (though I don't know that it will ultimately get published). Your name would be credited, of course.

Please email me back ASAP and tell me yay or nay or if you have any questions!

gremlin.girl@gmail.com

THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

My name is Jessica Boros. My great uncle was nothing short of amazing. While very interesting he always cared about the neighborhood kids, fixing up broken down bikes for those who didn't have them. We have sculptures at my house and a ride on toy airplane that he made for my nephew. He was a great guy.