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Thread: Washington Square Park

  1. #391

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    Excellent pics Lofter Thank YOU!

  2. #392
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Inanimate Object Can't See Progress on Washington Square Park

    December 29, 2010, by Pete Davies




    The new version of Garibaldi Plaza.


    The Performers Stage hides behind the blue curtain


    The new plan at Washington Square Park.


    A new path to NYU's Bobst Library.


    Petanque Courts on a gentle slope along Washington Square South.


    Along the northeast quadrant.


    Entry at the northeast corner of the park.


    Seating alcove along Washington Square East.


    The statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi has been bound and gagged, wrapped up tight in black and blue. Perhaps his winter garb is a prudent move to ward off the windchill, or maybe the workers who are finishing up the installation of Caledonian granite pavers on the newly laid pathways simply want to surprise the big guy when their task is finally done, which will be, ahem, soon.

    The circular Garibaldi Plaza, where Giuseppe will hold court, is nearly complete, and the raised Performer's Stage is tented for protection as work on the platform winds up. Other breakthroughs: plantings are in and seating alcoves have been benched; perimeter fences are up and new faux-historic light posts have been installed, the perfect housing for all those hidden security cams spread throughout the park.

    The petanque courts, across from NYU's stoned faux-rest of spirituality, are filled with sand and oddly sloped within view of Giuseppe.

    http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2010/1...quare_park.php

  3. #393
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Doesn't quite seem to equate with what's been done.

    Washington Square Park Redesign: Phase II — Progress & Cost Update



    To keep you up to date with the latest


    Despite initial reports that a section of Washington Square Park Redesign: Phase II would open in December 2010 (I always doubted that), what is now Phase II – specifically the Northeast & Southeast Quadrants and no longer including the Mounds and large Dog Run on the southern side – will open Spring 2011. The original scheduled completion date was Fall 2010.

    The corrected signs around the park reflect this and it has been confirmed by the city’s Parks Department. I’ve heard most likely April will be the formal unveiling. You might recall that Phase I had a “soft” opening in May 2009 and was open for a week and a half before a grand opening ceremony was held with the Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, former Council Member Alan Gerson, et al.
    Final cost for Phase II?

    According to the Parks Department, it is estimated that the cost for Phase II will come in completed at around $8 million. The middle phase of the park’s reconstruction has now been revised from the original design plans. Sections, including the large dog run and Mounds (I’m unclear if Chess area is included — will update Chess area still part of Phase II), have been reallocated into Phase III, likely to break ground in the Fall 2011, if not later.

    A little recap of finances related to the Park’s project:

    Phase I NW Quadrant + Fountain Plaza (cost): $16 million
    Phase II NE & SE Quadrants + Chess Area (estimate): $8 million

    ____________________________________________

    Phase I & II = $24 million at least (estimated)

    Phase III cost : unknown

    What we do know is that Phase III’s forthcoming “pergola” — which will house the long awaited upgraded restrooms and Park administrative offices — will, according to a report in the New York Post, cost about $4 million.

    Still incomplete, we’re at $28 million.

    The entire controversial project, Washington Square Park redesigned Phases I, II andinitially budgeted for - and given the green light at - $16 million. Once completed, we’re now looking at Phases I, II and III reaching $30-$35 million & likely higher. III, was

    http://washingtonsquarepark.wordpress.com/2011/02/04/washington-square-park-redesign-phase-ii-progress-cost-update/

  4. #394
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Suggestion to mods: combine this thread with Washington Square thread perhaps?


    Inside the Washington Arch

    By RALPH GARDNER JR.



    Several months ago my daughter, knowing I'm perpetually poised somewhere between eager and desperate for story ideas, suggested I do a piece about the Washington Square Arch. She'd heard there was a room inside the arch and thought it might make an interesting article.

    I don't think I laughed in her face and told her she was a damn fool—I come from that generation of parenting, unlike my own parents, that believes our children are so emotionally fragile they need relentless moral and intellectual support, lest they break into a million little pieces—or maybe I did laugh in her face, because I thought the idea too ridiculous to pursue.



    I'd visited Washington Square dozens of times (indeed, one of my favorite warm-weather pastimes, when I'm not spending the evening in Central Park with a good friend and a well-disguised bottle of elixir, is to do the same on a series of benches on the eastern side of Washington Square Park; its interminable landscape renovation last summer put a decided crimp in my style) and never noticed any door in the arch.

    But Friday morning I indeed found myself inside the arch, and not just inside it, having entered through a small side door in the arch's western leg, but climbing a 102-step spiral staircase toward its summit. My guide was John Krawchuk, the New York City Parks Department's director of historic preservation, and the project manager for the arch's 1997-98 and 2001-04 renovations. Mr. Krawchuk preferred to play down the Parks Department's herculean efforts to cleanse the structure of graffiti, and its success at keeping it off using anti-graffiti coating, for fear that spotlighting their exertions might tempt vandals to deface it afresh.



    "We want to be a little careful," he said. "We don't want people to say, 'Let's go tag the arch!'" But I'm reasonably confident that the intersection of folks with a passion for defiling public property and readers of this page is relatively small, and I think the city deserves applause for successfully removing the crap (and perhaps kudos also should go to the general populace for resisting the urge to deface it anew). As goes the Washington Square Arch (which, Mr. Krawchuk cautioned me, is officially known as "the Washington Arch"), so goes the city. "The messages were fascinating as we were taking off layers of paint," he recalled, referring to the graffiti removal, as we ascended the claustrophobic staircase. "Vietnam-era stuff."

    The arch, which was constructed to celebrate the centennial of George Washington's inauguration and had its ribbon-cutting in 1895, was designed pro bono by Stanford White. The stairs and the vaulted attic to which we were heading were constructed by Guastavino, the same firm that did the terracotta tile ceiling in Grand Central's Oyster Bar, though the attic's ceiling remains unadorned brick.

    "At one point this was a Parks office," Mr. Krawchuk explained, but obviously not an ideal one given the calisthenics required to reach it. "There was a lot of junk up here. We try to keep it clean."



    At the moment the space, illuminated by several small skylights, is empty except for the stockpile of light bulbs and fluorescents used to light the exterior. One of the triumphs of the renovation is that the roof no longer leaks. "Stanford White famously complained about it," Mr. Krawchuck said. "He swabbed it with tobacco juice because he wanted to even out the discoloration of the arch."

    But we still hadn't reached the top. The staircase continued to the roof, accessible through skylight doors installed during the 2005 renovation. "We don't allow people up here," the historic preservationist explained. "The stairway is quite dangerous and the roof is quite fragile. If we allowed the public up here, the roof would fail quite quickly."

    That's a pity because the view from the top of the arch is unparalleled, quite literally at a crossroads of the city's history. What is now Washington Square Park was originally a potter's field. In fact, human remains were uncovered during the excavation for the arch.

    It was used as a parade ground until the 1840s. Stanford White modeled the arch after the Arc de Triomphe, though the Parisian version obviously suffers from the lack of the New York version's statues of George Washington at war and peace adorning the north side. On the other hand, tourists can summit the French memorial arch and buy cute and affordable models of it in all sizes.

    Looking north, you get a clear shot all the way up Fifth Avenue. The skyscrapers of Wall Street rise to the south, the construction of the Freedom Tower proceeding apace and now clearly visible. Just below you is the park itself, brittle and beautiful in the winter morning light, and the genteel Greek Revival townhouses of Washington Square North.

    Mr. Krawchuk said that in 1917 a group of "Bohemians" led by the artists Marcel Duchamp and John Sloan and the poet Gertrude Drick broke into the arch and climbed to the roof.

    "They had a picnic and a party and drank tea late into the night," he said, though one suspects stronger beverages might also have been involved. "Gertrude Drick read a proclamation declaring the free and independent state of Greenwich Village. Sloan did an etching of them all huddled here in the early morning hours."

    I wondered whether the cops ever requested access to the roof to spy on the park's indigenous drug dealers, one of whom greeted me warmly as I departed and headed to my next appointment. But Mr. Krawchuk said no, and not just because they were concerned about the roof springing leaks. "There are plenty of cameras around the park," he explained.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...072300888.html

  5. #395
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    That's a pity because the view from the top of the arch is unparalleled, quite literally at a crossroads of the city's history. What is now Washington Square Park was originally a potter's field. In fact, human remains were uncovered during the excavation for the arch.
    And no pics...

  6. #396

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    Quote Originally Posted by Merry View Post
    Suggestion to mods: combine this thread with Washington Square thread perhaps?
    The Washington Square thread is for real estate - at least it started that way.

    I read through the thread, and moved all the park posts here.

  7. #397
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    ^ Belated thank you.

    Washington Square Park Eastern Side Opens Today!



    Shame about that fence .



    More pics at Washington Square Park Blog

  8. #398

  9. #399
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    ^ A matching set, shoes and flowers .

  10. #400

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    December 4, 2011

    City Cracking Down on Performers in Washington Square Park

    By LISA W. FODERARO

    Colin Huggins was there with his baby grand, the one he wheels into Washington Square Park for his al fresco concerts. So were Tic and Tac, a street-performing duo, who held court in the fountain — dry for the winter. And Joe Mangrum was pouring his elaborate sand paintings on the ground near the Washington Arch.

    In other words, it was a typical Sunday afternoon in the Greenwich Village park, where generations of visitors have mingled with musicians, artists, activists, poets and buskers.

    Yet this fall, that urban harmony has grown dissonant as the city’s parks department has slapped summonses on the four men and other performers who put out hats or buckets, for vending in an unauthorized location — specifically, within 50 feet of a monument.

    The department’s rule, one of many put in place a year ago, was intended to control commerce in the busiest parks. Under the city’s definition, vending covers not only those peddling photographs and ankle bracelets, but also performers who solicit donations.

    The rule attracted little notice at first. But the enforcement in Washington Square Park in the past two months has generated summonses ranging from $250 to $1,000. And it has started a debate about the rights of parkgoers seeking refuge from the bustle of the streets versus those looking for entertainment.

    At a news conference in the park on Sunday organized by NYC Park Advocates, the artists waved fistfuls of pink summonses while their advocates, including civil rights lawyers, called on the city to stop what they called harassment of the performers.

    “This is a heavy-handed solution to a nonexistent problem,” said Ronald L. Kuby, one of the lawyers.

    The rule is especially problematic in Washington Square Park, performers say, because there are few locations across its 10 acres that are beyond 50 feet from a memorial or fountain — whether the bust of Alexander Lyman Holley, who introduced the Bessemer steel process to this country, or the statue of the Italian liberator Giuseppe Garibaldi.

    Then there is the park’s international reputation as a gathering place for folk music pioneers and the Beats.

    “Washington Square is the live-music park of New York City, and it would be close to impossible for any one of us to follow these regulations,” said Mr. Huggins, who has received nine summonses with fines totaling $2,250.

    But Adrian Benepe, the parks commissioner, argues that there is ample room for performers away from the monuments. And, he added, a musician who is not putting out a tin cup is welcome to sit on the edge of the fountain or under a monument.

    “It’s the whole issue of the ‘tragedy of the commons,’ ” he said. “If you allow all the performers and all the vendors to do whatever they want to do, pretty soon there’s no park left for people who want to use them for quiet enjoyment. This is a way of having some control and not 18 hours of carnival-like atmosphere.”

    Gary Behrens, an amateur photographer visiting from New Jersey, applauded the city’s efforts to rein in the performers. “I’m O.K. with the guitar, but the loud instruments have taken over the park,” he said.

    The lawyers and advocates, however, challenged the idea that street performers were selling a product as a vendor does. And threatening a lawsuit, they faulted the city for creating what they called “First Amendment zones” through the rules.

    “Is this place zany?” asked Norman Siegel, the former director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. “You bet. Public parks are quintessential public forums. Zaniness is something we should cherish and protect.”

    Park visitation has soared along with the rise of tourism in the last 15 years, and with it vendors and artists interested in a lucrative market.

    Mr. Benepe insisted that the rules would not scare off future music legends.

    “If Bob Dylan wanted to come play there tomorrow, he could,” he said, “although he might have to move away from the fountain.”

    Oddly, the dispute coincided with the 50th anniversary of the so-called Folk Riot in Washington Square Park, when the parks commissioner tried to squelch Sunday folk performances. Hundreds of musicians gathered in protest, the police were called in and a melee ensued.

    In April, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg wrote a letter commemorating the Folk Riot, saying he applauded “the folk performers who changed music, our city and our world beginning half a century ago.”


    Colin Huggins, playing piano on Sunday in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village,
    is among the performers given summonses for soliciting donations in an unauthorized location.


    Kareem Barnes of Tic and Tac collected donations on Sunday.


    Joe Mangrum showed his sand paintings on Sunday.


    © 2011 The New York Times Company

  11. #401
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Two years to go before the hypocritical Bloomberg corporate control freaks are gone.

    But it might seem like an eternity until that day comes. And their legacy could be hard to undo.

  12. #402
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    "Ample room" my tuckus.

    I also like the way they lump performers in with vendors. Someone trying to sell me Falafel or a scarf is different than a guy playing a guitar or baby grand.

    Also, cops would not be giving tickets here if they were not told to do so. Law or not, someone is looking for a way to get people indoors and pay for entertainment....

  13. #403
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Audio takedown from this week's community meeting on park rules limiting musicians and other performers in WSP ...

    12/19/2011 Washington Sq Park speakout.mp4

    The WSP community comes out 100% against the park rules for artists, musicians and performers. A very entertaining community meeting! The first 3 minutes are hard to make out. The remainder is perfectly clear.


  14. #404
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    If I was at that meeting I would have been in agreement with the public. That said I actually think the twins' show, which i've seen them do in many locations around the city, does sort of take over huge chunks. They are more in your face too about paying up, which i find irritating, but that's me, and the paint bucket drummer and his buddy with the other drum set can be too loud for my tastes. But the piano guy and sand painter are wonderful as are most of the musicians, soliciting or not. The park is a great place to go because of them. Some could bring their tip buckets a little closer though - I saw one guy throw his breakfast trash out in the piano guy's bucket thinking it was a garbage can.

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