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Thread: Turning Lower Manhattan Into Parkland

  1. #16

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    Bowling Green Park renovation is complete.








  2. #17
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    Very pretty. That's right near the anatomically correct bull statue, right?

  3. #18
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    ^Correct.

    Nice photos, but I can't tell what's different from before.

  4. #19
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    The northern half of Teardrop Park is complete. You can see verticle construction on the latest BPC buildin in the background.




  5. #20
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    Pretty.

  6. #21
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    I don't know why they built those low rises (in the background) in the first place. What a waste of land. They are to square and the architecture is nothing special and they lack storefronts. :|

  7. #22
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    If you're talking about the Embassy Suites, it holds a movie theater and some other stores...

  8. #23
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    oh is that what it is....Well I am talking about those other low rises (same size) that are apartments in the Battery Park City area. :wink:

  9. #24

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    http://www.lowermanhattan.info/

    Battery Bosque Reconstruction Is Underway

    June 7, 2004

    Under a sun-filled blue sky on the morning of June 7 in Battery Park, as mothers strolled along the pathways with their children and tourists captured photographs of the nearby waterfront, city officials gathered to announce the beginning of a dramatic reconstruction project -- a multi-million dollar face-lift to improve and renovate the downtown park.

    Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe gathered with Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) President Kevin Rampe, Battery Conservancy President Warrie Price, Council Member Alan Gerson, and other local officials to break ground for the $8.5 million renovation of the Bosque Area of Battery Park, a section of the park located along the waterfront. Reconstruction of the Bosque -- a Spanish word meaning "grove of trees" -- will transform the setting into a lush, green destination spot, a place that Benepe hopes will become "a magical space, year-round."

    The renovation of the Battery Bosque was funded by the LMDC as part of a broader $25 million project to restore and create 13 parks and green spaces in Lower Manhattan. The Parks & Recreation Department has obtained more than $37 million from the LMDC; federal, state, and city governments; foundations, and corporations to both revitalize and establish new open spaces in the downtown area.

    Speaking at the groundbreaking event yesterday, Benepe noted that the project will do more than just refurbish the Battery Bosque.

    "It will give it character that it has lacked," he said.

    As part of the effort, the area's cracked asphalt and broken cobblestone will be replaced with a new crushed stone surface. There will be 57,000 square feet of gardens, planted with 70,000 bulbs and 33,000 perennials. Also, there will be two food kiosks built for eating within the gardens and a spiral, granite fountain -- the first new fountain built downtown in about three decades, according to Benepe.

    Distinctive lighting will be installed to complement the brand-new seating that has been planned to provide patrons of the park with an area to relax in before hopping on a carousel created by sculptor Barbara Broughel. The carousel will feature marine life figures and a view of the harbor.
    The Battery Bosque design team includes the Saratoga Associates, Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf, Weisz-Yoes Architects, and Tillett Lighting Design. The project is expected to be completed this fall, with more plantings scheduled for spring 2005.

    When finished, city officials hope the reconstruction effort will transform the area into an open, green space where New Yorkers and tourists not only quickly walk through but also come down specifically to visit and enjoy.

    "The park will go from a pass-through park," Benepe said, "into a destination park."

  10. #25
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    Yeah I always felt that Battery Park lack something. Like it look abandon or something.

    As part of the effort, the area's cracked asphalt and broken cobblestone will be replaced with a new crushed stone surface. There will be 57,000 square feet of gardens, planted with 70,000 bulbs and 33,000 perennials. Also, there will be two food kiosks built for eating within the gardens and a spiral, granite fountain -- the first new fountain built downtown in about three decades, according to Benepe.
    That is a big renovation that's for sure.

  11. #26

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    http://www.tribecatrib.com/

    A Carousel Is Coming to Battery Park

    by Barry Owens


    A carousel is coming to Battery Park. But don't expect to hop aboard another bobbing horse-unless, perhaps, it's a sea horse

    The carousel pavilion, in the shape of a spiraling shell, will be installed just east of Castle Clinton and will feature 28 marine-life figures created by sculptor Barbara Broughel, bubbled porthole-like windows, and underwater scenes projected onto the carousel's cylinder.

    The figures will be translucent and fiber-optically illuminated to create the illusion of the "distinct biology and pulse of each creature," Broughel said.

    "They're going up and down and they are going to go round and round," said Warrie Price, president of The Battery Conservancy. "But it will be a soft gallup, like riding the back of a whale or dolphin."

    The privately funded $2.5 million Battery Carousel, designed by the architecture firm of Weisz and Yoes

    Studio, is a nod to the city's first aquarium, which was housed at Castle Clinton from 1896 to 1941.

    Community Board 1 approved the carousel design last month. Construction is expected to begin next spring.




    Battery Conservancy

    Battery Park master plan

  12. #27

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    Tribeca Park renovation is complete

  13. #28

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    All this parks being created will rise land value by so much more than what it already is.i hope more high rise will come there from these activities.

  14. #29
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    Still under construction, the new triangular park at Laight-Canal-Varick Streets:




    And the St. John's Rotary, entrance to Manhattan coming out of the Holland Tunnel:


  15. #30

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    July 9, 2004

    Greening Ye Olde Manhattan

    By DAVID W. DUNLAP

    Slide Show: A Verdant Downtown

    THIRTY-SEVEN million dollars to rehabilitate the parks of Lower Manhattan, and the city still cannot manage to fix those jagged fence posts around Bowling Green.

    Actually, it's for the best. They have gone unrepaired since the 18th century, when independence-minded New Yorkers descended on the green to rid the park of royal emblems: a gilded lead equestrian statue of King George III and fence-post ornaments described as either orbs or crowns, or orbs surrounded by crowns. What remains are rough-edged finials that mutely convey something of the crowd's fury.

    Today marks the 228th anniversary of the felling of the king's likeness. Yet Bowling Green, New York's oldest park, is looking especially fresh. The park, at the foot of Broadway, has just undergone an $690,000 renovation by the city Parks Department as part of a $37 million crash program to restore and create 14 parks downtown in the wake of 9/11.

    "What gives us our respite are our parks," said Madelyn Wils, chairwoman of Community Board 1 and a board member of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which provided $25 million of the financing. Kevin M. Rampe, the corporation president, said parks are a catalyst for redevelopment.

    Though Lower Manhattan is not known as a particularly verdant part of town, it seems to be getting greener by the day. Just a week after presiding over the reopening of Bowling Green on June 14, Adrian Benepe, the parks commissioner, cut a ribbon to reopen TriBeCa Park, on the Avenue of the Americas at Beach Street, just south of Canal Street.

    Mr. Benepe may next find himself, scissors in hand, inaugurating the $2.2 million Mannahatta Park along Wall Street. Then again, he could be at the rehabilitated Washington Market Park. Or the rebuilt Al Smith Playground. He just finished breaking ground for a new area of Battery Park called the Bosque, hard by Castle Clinton. Nearby, at the Gardens of Remembrance, designed by Piet Oudolf, workers installed a finishing touch last month: oval-shaped plaques dedicated to those who died Sept. 11, 2001, those who survived and "all who come seeking renewed hope and optimism."

    Speaking of Lower Manhattan, Mr. Benepe said: "For a long time, the open space issue was not as compelling because it was strictly a Monday-to-Friday, 9-to-5 location. That began to change with Battery Park City. Battery Park City set a standard for public space design in the 1980's and 1990's."

    There is more to come. The Battery Park City Authority is readying the $17 million Teardrop Park at the north end of the development for an opening in October. The two-acre cruciform park will eventually have four apartment towers around it.

    Modernize? Why?

    Like the rich landscapes of Battery Park City, the new TriBeCa Park has been filled by its designer, Emmanuel Thingue, with a variety of plantings and features. TriBeCa Park is among the oldest in the city, set aside in 1809 and known until 1985 as Beach Street Park. Until recently, however, except for its London plane trees and Japanese pagoda trees, it looked more like a boomerang-shaped, half-acre wedge in the road.

    Now, there is an oval-shaped seating and assembly area paved in a crisscross of green, gray and pink granite. Around it are 20 different types of plants. Bold, yellow-edged hosta and wispy monkey grass mingle on a carpet of pachysandra. Dwarf English spreading yews form a green border. Manhattan spreading euonymus will keep the beds green in winter. Winding paths run through the planting beds.

    Romantic, it is. Contemporary, it is not. "We were going to push the envelope and make it more modern," Mr. Benepe said, "but the community was more interested in traditional materials."

    Julie Matsumoto of the Friends of TriBeCa Park said the first design "appeared to me to be a 1970's-1980's corporate park: fountain and hardscape." She thought the park ought to look "like it had been here 100 years," taking design cues from the nearby American Thread Building of 1895, a bow-fronted Beaux-Arts building where she happens to live.

    On the night before a meeting with parks officials, Ms. Matsumoto said she scoured every gardening book in her house, marking those features she found most appealing. She photocopied the pages and created a kind of informal design manifesto.

    "It helped inspire me," said Bonnie Koeppel, chief of design for the Parks Department. "I'll never forget when I showed the revised plan to Julie, she said `You can do all that in that space?' "

    Teardrop Park has been packed even more densely with features by its designers at Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates: lawns, a reading circle with rock perches, wooden bleachers, a wading pool, a sand slide and sand lot. A brief tour of the work in progress left a visitor with the impression of having ambled through several distinct landscapes.

    "I had this vision of standing in a glen in the Catskills," said Timothy S. Carey, president and chief executive of the Battery Park City Authority, who owns property in Delaware County. That meant a bluestone wall evoking a weeping mountainside embankment; misty in summer, encrusted with natural ice sculptures in winter.

    Randomly sized, roughly cut pieces have been set in gently curving courses to form a broad arc 27 feet high at its apogee. Each course ends abruptly, forming a jagged pattern along the top. A portal leads through the wall to a limestone hillock on the other side.

    All told, about 2,200 tons of stone (from Greene County, it turns out) have been used at Teardrop Park. "The idea of the natural look is something I've tried to perpetuate," Mr. Carey said, "but I don't like the Disney look." In other words, no fiberglass rocks.

    A more minimalist approach was taken by the designer George Vellonakis for a new park created in the Wall Street roadbed, between Water and South Streets, with the cooperation of the city Transportation Department. A fountain at the east end, donated by Deutsche Bank, will punctuate an allee directing a visitor's view to Trinity Church.

    The allee will be lined with six-foot-long granite bench slabs that almost seem to float on blocks of glass illuminated from within by light-emitting diodes. Production problems in Seattle delayed the glass, so swooping 1964 World's Fair-style benches have been temporarily installed. And the two dozen or so scraggly birch trees, apparently removed without enough roots, will be replaced this month.

    No matter. Downtowners have already taken over the finished half. It has drawn so many smokers from nearby office buildings that the Parks Department — in the Bloomberg administration, of all things — found itself compelled to search for aesthetically compatible ashtrays.

    The working name of the Wall Street park is Mannahatta, honoring the native name of New York. Bowling Green speaks in its very existence to the earliest period of European settlement, when it was used as a parade ground and marketplace.

    In 1733, the Common Council set aside the space, at the foot of Broadway, "for the Beauty & Ornament of the Said Street as well as for the Recreation & delight of the Inhabitants of this City." It was privately leased for lawn bowling.

    The Life of a Fence

    The hand-wrought fence was commissioned by the Common Council in 1771, for £800, from Peter T. Curtenius, Gilbert Forbes, Andrew Lyall and Richard Sharpe to protect the newly arrived statue of King George and prevent the green from becoming a "Recepticle of all the filth & dirt of the Neighbourhood."

    It failed in its first mission. On July 9, 1776, after hearing the Declaration of Independence, New Yorkers beheaded the statue and pulled it down to make musket balls. The king's troops, wrote Ebenezer Hazard to Gen. Horatio Gates of the Continental Army, "will probably have melted majesty fired at them."

    What happened to the fence post ornaments — and when — is a bit less clear. They may have been knocked down the same day, to be used as cannon balls. Or perhaps New Yorkers decapitated the finials in 1783, as British troops evacuated.

    Whatever the case, this was not the end of misadventure for the fence, which stands just under six feet high and forms an egg shape around the green.

    During the construction of the subway in 1914, the fence was dismantled and taken to Central Park for temporary storage. But when the moment came in September 1918 to reclaim the fence, it simply could not be found, sparking fears that it had been junked. It was not until April 1919 that the missing pieces were discovered in a park storeroom.

    The green has been redesigned several times. It gained and lost a statue of Abraham De Peyster, a 17th-century New York mayor. It gained a fountain, donated by George T. Delacorte, in 1977. It gained the popular "Charging Bull" sculpture by Arturo Di Modica in 1989.

    In the latest renovation, designed by Alan Scholl, it gained planting beds around the base of the landmark fence, to create a buffer zone; hoof-footed benches based on a 19th-century prototype, which rather complement the nearby bull; and plantings around the fountain, including four Franklinia alatamaha trees, which yield late-summer blossoms of coconut-white petals. "Franklinia can be a fussy little tree," allowed Amy L. Freitag, deputy parks commissioner for capital projects. But its introduction in Bowling Green, she said, was consistent with a standing instruction from Mr. Benepe: "Why not do as beautiful a horticultural display in a city park as in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden?"

    The fence was restored by Gabriel Popian of G. & L. Popian in Long Island City, Queens, who removed about 10 layers of paint and repainted it black. He unbent damaged fence poles and reset part of the brownstone curb so the arrow-headed north gate could once again open and close.

    Stripped of decades' worth of accretions, the old railing gave up some secrets. "We learned that more of the fence had been worked on than we thought," Ms. Freitag said. Roughly 50 percent of the fence poles had been replaced over the years.

    And it turned out that four or five of the 93 venerable fence posts were actually replicas. "They made the post to be exactly like the original," said Jamie Schroeder, an architectural conservator in the parks agency. "They faked the fact that they are torn off. You can tell, when you take off the paint, that they had been cast that way."

    Ms. Freitag sounds forgiving, describing this as a "very Colonial Revival impulse of making the Ye Olde fence look as Ye Olde as possible." This small artifice does little to diminish a sense of awe approaching that fence, with its visible — and tangible — link to America's passion at the dawn of independence.

    "A blow was enough for the emblem of monarchy, and the ragged edges were left to tell the story to posterity," The New York Express said in 1878. "Each succeeding generation has preserved the rough traces, and there they are at this hour."

    And, happily, at this.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

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