Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Prayer Before You Take the Tram?


While the Roosevelt Island Tram is scheduled to be replaced next year no one has publicly stated that safety is such an issue that a prayer is required before the Tram begins its trip across the East River but someone apparently did not want to take any chances.

The above pictured prayer booth was permanently affixed and anchored into the ground within Manhattan's Tramway Plaza, a NYC designated public park. The non-denominational prayer booth offers a fold down knealing pad. The instructions, especially the warning, are the best part.


This device exists to facilitate and control prayer in
public space. Improper use may result in penalty or fine.

Please avoid the booth if you are sensitive to or feel
threatened by actions that are religious in nature."

The over/even is the ACLU wil have the City Parks Department remove it by midday tomorrow so get your prayers in now while you can.

prayer booth instructions_closeup

Note: It appears that the prayer booth is actually an art installation created by artist Dylan Mortimer and has traveled across the country according to these 2007 newspaper articles. It would be nice if some sort of "art card' was placed nearby. Amusing. Over the years the Manhattan Tramway Plaza has hosted numerous art installations.

UPDATE 935am - Supposedly a member of Community Board 8 saw the TWO prayer booths at the plaza and is contacting Parks to have them removed. Apparently by bolting the booths to the ground it is a violation etc etc.

UPDATE 9/18 1130am - The story continues as apparently Parks did not notify CB8 that they were installing the booths as "public art".


  1. Riding the subway you need more prayers than the tram!

  2. Very, very creepy -- and not at all "art" by any means.

  3. Nice! Bring that art to DC.