Bayview Correctional Facility
Bayview Correctional Facility was a medium-security women's prison located at the south corner of West 20th Street and 11th Avenue in Manhattan, directly across the avenue from the Chelsea Piers sports complex. It is highly unusual to find a state penitentiary in the middle of a major city.
Bayview consisted of one large building and did not have grounds and a fenced perimeter. Covering the entire south wall of Bayview is the "Venus", a mural painted by New York artist Knox Martin in 1970. Venus was commissioned by Doris Freedman of CityWalls (later the Public Art Fund). Today, Venus is almost entirely obscured by the neighboring building 100 Eleventh Avenue, completed in 2010.
Featured on the New York State Correction Officer Informational Page's "History of Bayview" is the following statement:
In 1970, prior to the rejuvenation of the district, Bayview's entire south wall was decorated with a red and pink abstract painting, called "Venus" by artist Knox Martin. The mural, conspicuous for its size and beauty, has often been used on post cards. It is also conspicuous—in a culture that regards large, exposed surface as prime advertising space—for not being a billboard. Not surprisingly, advertisers call from time to time with proposals to lease the wall for commercial messages, but Bayview doesn't want its beautiful Venus covered over with a beer or jeans ad.
Besides, it's state property.
Before Superstorm Sandy hit in October 2012, Bayview's 153 prisoners were evacuated and sent to other facilities. The building sustained $600,000 as a result of storm damage and remained closed due to NYS Budgetary reasons. The building will be sold.
- Kasper, Ed (November 2001). "History of Bayview CF - A vertical institution". New York State Correction Officer Informational Page. Archived from the original on 5 December 2004. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
- "blogchelsea". typepad.com.
- "Sandy-damaged prison to be sold in NYC hotspot". MyFoxNY. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- Mindlin, Alex (11 February 2007). "After a 37-Year Run, a Roadside Venus to Be Veiled". The New York Times.
- Knox Martin Website
- CBS Report on the mural
- Prisoner advocates foresee problems after shuttering Bayview and Beacon, April 8, 2013