(Photo: Michael Garofalo)

(Photo: Michael Garofalo)

The long redesign of Cooper Square and Astor Place is finally nearing completion– knock on wood. This morning, landscapers worked to plant dozens of new trees around the square. We’re told that in total about 55 trees—oaks, sweetgums, and blackgumswill be planted over the next few days, bringing some much needed greenery to the area.

(Photo: Michael Garofalo)

(Photo: Michael Garofalo)

After two years of nonstop construction around Cooper Square, things are finally settling into the new normal. The Mosaic Man’s lightposts are slowly going back up, the Alamo Plaza now features outdoor seating, and jackhammers and dump trucks have mostly been replaced by Citi Bikes and tasteful planters.

(Photo: Michael Garofalo)

(Photo: Michael Garofalo)

In fact, just about the only thing missing at this point is the Cube. After false reports that Astor Place’s signature sculpture would be reinstalled in June and August, the city’s Department of Design and Construction told us today that there’s no timeframe set for its return. Here’s hoping they set a date soon, because we can all agree that the Astor Place redesign won’t truly be finished until the day the Cube finds its way back to its rightful home.