With its unique and ingenious devices, 42nd Street Ballroom is truly a prize of its time. In 1983, the ball machine was installed in the lobby of the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City, welcoming travelers with its curious sounds and striking visuals. At that time, 42nd Street Ballroom was the largest and most complex sculpture Rhoads had created, and the piece ushered in a period of prolific production of larger pieces.
42nd Street Ballroom features over 15 devices that range in function from producing bell and chime sounds to ensuring the random movement of balls. 24 billiard balls roll through the track along 4 separate paths. The sculpture operates with a timer, but the new machine also features a push-button that allows visitors to activate the balls at any time. Through its time at the Port Authority, 42nd Street Ballroom has become a well-known attraction to visitors of the terminal and a classic example of Rhoads’ artwork.