Battery Park City Agnes Denes Fields of Wheat 1982

Battery Park City in 1982: Better Than Whole Wheat!

Battery Park City Agnes Denes Fields of Wheat 1982
Agnes Denes Fields of Wheat Installation in 1982 (Credit: TwitPic-TruthSeerum via Claudia receives many contributions/tips on our site for ideas and current events — and we love it!

Recently we got a true gem of nostalgia. Our Twitter pal TruthSeerum, sent us this picture of Agnes Denes harvesting fields of wheat in 1982.

As we’re preparing for the commemoration of the World Trade Center terror attacks, we’ve made a call out for great memories of our neighborhood before 9/11 and our hopes for the neighborhood in the future. We thought we’d give you the first taste of contributions we’ve received.

If you have a great memory like this, or a personal story about 9/11 please feel free to send it to us at

Now back to the history of his photo:

According to Agnes Dene’s website:

Wheatfield — A Confrontation
2 Acres of wheat planted & harvested, Battery Park landfill, downtown Manhattan summer 1982 (with Statue of Liberty across the Hudson)

After months of preparations, in May 1982, a 2-acre wheat field was planted on a landfill in lower Manhattan, two blocks from Wall Street and the World Trade Center, facing the Statue of Liberty. Two hundred truckloads of dirt were brought in and 285 furrows were dug by hand cleared of rocks and garbage. The seeds were down by hand and the furrows covered with soil. The field was maintained for four months, cleared of wheat smut, weeded, fertilized and sprayed against mildew fungus, and an irrigation system set up. The crop was harvested on August 16 and yielded over 1000 pounds of healthy, golden wheat.

Planting and harvesting a field of wheat on land worth $4.5 billion created a powerful paradox. Wheatfield was a symbol, a universal concept, it represented food, energy, commerce, world trade, economics. It referred to mismanagement, waste, world hunger and ecological concerns. It called attention to our misplaced priorities. The harvested grain traveled to twenty-eight cities around the world in an exhibition called “The International Art Show for the End of World Hunger”, organized by the Minnesota Museum of Art (1987-90). The seeds were eventually carried away by people who planted them in many parts of the globe.

Pretty cool huh?

About Lizbeth

Elizabeth has been a resident of Battery Park City since 1985, where she and her sister were beneficiaries of the neighborhood's first school bus stop. She loves to travel, but loves even more to come home. The Battery Park Esplanade is her favorite neighborhood fixture, where you'll often find her soaking up the sun, rollerblading, or simply enjoying the view.