Preserve Washington Square Park
Other Alternatives
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

Why redesign what works?

If you ask any random person in the Park if they think it should be totally redesigned and changed, they'll probably ask "Why?" When you tell people that everything is to be totally rebuilt and redesigned, they don't believe it.

People are very happy with the way the Park is right now.

This is a credit to the City and the designers that did the current design back in the 1960s and 1970's.

When Central Park needed major work on areas such as the Great Lawn and the lakes near Sixth and 59th St and behind the Belvedere Castle, they didn't redesign the whole park.

They fixed what needed to be fixed, making sure that the work meshed visually with the existing park areas.

The Park needs a lot of work...

The fountain may be in as dire condition as the City says. But this opinion could be tinged by the desire to get the money to move and rebuild it. Rebuilding it in place will reduce the risk of unearthing human remains from the Park's days as various burial grounds, which could delay reopening for years.

The central area needs to be totally repaved and the walls should be rebuilt in place. There are many chipped and broken areas, as well as potholes, bad drainage, and cracks. The makeshift ramps should be redesigned to ADA standards, extending into the circle a bit farther. This would have no effect on the meeting and peformance spaces, since the ramps are between these areas.

The "Mounds" park is a terrible waste. Leaving that much property in this neighborhood fenced off for years is a shame. It should be rebuilt with more modern materials and USED.

People that use the Dog Runs are happy with the size and location. Three years ago, the Dog Run Association used donations to pay for a drainage system for the large George's Dog Run to prevent flooding, although this could be problematic when frozen or furing flooding. The Robin Kovary Run for Small Dogs needs new drainage, as well as part of any repairs. A new fence for the large Dog Run is needed as well.

The other children's playground near the arch is always filled with parents and children enjoying it.

The bench-lined walks east and west of the circle are likewise always well-used by students and other people stopping to read the paper or a book or just to talk.

The bocce courts are often busy on weekends for tournaments and friendly games. They are one of only four court locations in Manhattan.

The Teen Plaza is often used for political speeches and the occasional orchestra or band show.

The bocce courts and Teen Plaza are due to be eliminated in the new plans.

The chess and Scrabble tables in the western corners of the park give people the chance for a good challenging game. It's no coincidence that most of New York's chess shops are a few blocks away. These areas are not firmly saved at this point.

Okay, not everything is perfect. I don't think anybody in the Park would deny that the bathrooms are terrible. They should be moved into the twenty-first century. They'd be a good place to test new designs and technology.

In short, this is a very good Park. It needs to be fixed, not demolished and rebuilt in a misguided attempt to turn it into a private botanical garden.

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