Preserve Washington Square Park
Redesign the Central Open Space?
Latest News
Site Intro and Why We're Here
Write to Politicians and the Press
The Article 78 Proceedings Against The Redesign
Your Blog, News, and Discussion Links
Move and RENAME the Fountain?
Show Me the Money!
Business As Usual In New York City
Would you buy a used Park from this man?
Redesign the Central Open Space?
What We Stand to Lose
Eminent Domain meets Manifest Destiny
Other Alternatives
The Arts in the Park
Music in the Park
Jon Rettich's Park Musician Sketches
Other Sites to Check
The Art Commission Hearing 01/09/2006
The Project For Public Spaces' Working Session and Findings
We're Community Board 2 And We're Here To Help
NYC Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum's Testimony on the Renovation

The central space is now a performance and free speech venue which dynamically changes at a moment's notice. You never know what will happen next.

There might be a juggler, there might be a magician, there might be break dancers, there might be jazz, there might be blues, there might be picketers, there might be bluegrass...

AND THEY MIGHT ALL BE GOING ON AT THE SAME TIME!



People talking and a doo-wop group behind them
music05.jpg
Courtesy of Sandy Hechtman

The designers say that the reason they want to eliminate the outer portion of the circle is that people can't pull themselves up on the high walls.

Have they really looked at the walls? There are actually three levels of seating. One higher and one lower facing the circle, and a still lower one facing outside towards the green areas. During the day, the seating areas are often in shade because of the trees in each corner unit.

On a Saturday night, people fill all three levels in one or more of the corners when the music gets rolling.

The current and well-designed arrangement allows many small groups to meet, talk, sunbathe, and perform. The new circular arrangement will be unfocused and unorganized, not conducive to performance and private conversation groups.

The picture below is an approximation, not to exact scale, but shows the brilliance of the original design as 8 dual performance and speaking areas. That's right, there are 8 of them. The new plans have NONE of them.

corners.jpg

Another excuse for destroying the seating areas is that the Parks Department says that the large and beautiful shade trees in each of the 8 seating areas are dying and need to be taken down. They seem very healthy, except for one which looks like it needs some pruning and fertilization. Once the trees are gone, shade in the park will be a long time coming again, since they will be planting new trees to replace them.

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