Antony Rhodes, on his blog onemomentcaller, has posted his response to the news of the danger that the Regent Building is in. (See my posts below)

Len Lye Again.

Firstly I want to thank those kind people who have sent me messages of support for my campaign to save one of New Plymouth’s historic buildings from demolition. See my posting below, Monday 19th Feb.

I never met Len Lye but did wonder what his attitude towards the destruction of the Regent building would be, especially as the site is to be cleared in order to construct ‘A World Centre for Len Lye’.

Last night I consulted the Roger Horrocks biography of him and there on page 283 I think I found the answer. In 1960, Len and his wife, Ann, were active in a campaign against New York City’s plan to ‘redevelop’ the area by demolishing old houses, houses in which many artists had their studios. His wind wands were used in protest, and the Village Voice described the event under the headline, ‘Swaying Mobile Is Art’s Ode to West Village Battle‘.

‘A World Centre For Len Lye.’

Here in New Plymouth we have fervent group of people pushing to raise $10M to build a
centre to house and promote the collection of Len Lye material that has been gifted to this city.

In the last week they have been particularly active, although personally I’m not entirely convinced by their thinking. However, apart from not attending their rallies, I’ve been very silent because, surprisingly enough, I like to lead the quiet life, and just get on with my work.

But one thing I no longer want to be silent about is that they are intending to smash down the Regent building. It is one of the most special heritage buildings in this city and understandably
they have not publicised their intentions. Even though many New Plymouth residents are opposed to the Len Lye Foundations activities they don’t yet realise that this building is in grave danger. Most think that the Foundation is going to be established inside the the Regent. There has been nothing in the local press about the building’s demolition and I’ll predict that when the news does break there will be strong opposition.

The large photos in the window are mine. It was a drive-by show that I had a couple of years ago.