Simpson Street and
Westchester Avenue

Lisa Amowitz
What We Build is Not Permanent, We Are Not What We Build, 2006
MTA Arts for Transit


This glass installation at the Simpson Street Station represents the artist, Lisa Amowitz’, personal reaction and testament to how New York City struggled to regain its spirit after the devastating attacks of September 11, 2001.  It suggests the notion that structures, although built to outlast their architects, are fragile entities. What We Build is Not Permanent, We Are Not What We Build represents the vibrant spirit of the people of the Bronx, and a borough that is continuously renewing itself and blooming with spirit in many unexpected places. 

The artist chose flower imagery to represent the spirit of renewal, rebirth, and rebuilding.  Amowitz’ message is that “in viewing this art one senses that the spirit of the people that flows through the streets and buildings of the city is part of them and they are part of it, and that as long as they are alive their spirit is stronger than any building man can build or destroy.

The installation is a part of the urban landscape, and also a part of the mental landscape of the weary traveler.

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