Printers Park Playground to be Honored
Great news from our Capital Projects team: Printers Park Playground has won an Honor Award from the New York chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the organization’s highest award. This project was designed, engineered and supervised entirely by in-house staff. The awards ceremony will take place on April 3 at the Horticultural Society of New York.
Printers Park Playground was designed to be a safe and sustainable play space for use by the neighborhood’s families. The land that the 2-acre park now occupies was once a part of the estate of Richard March Hoe (1812-1886), the inventor of the rotary printing press. His mansion, known as “Brightside,” was torn down in 1904 when the 53-acre estate was sold by his family to speculators who subsequently developed the land with a grid of streets and apartment buildings. In the 1970’s, the buildings fell into disrepair due to arson and were abandoned. The site had been closed to the public since that time until the reopening in 2010. Cylinders, gears, rolls of paper, circles, and the motion of the press inspired the design of the playground. The orange-and-white, multitasking jungle gym at Printers Park Playground is an imaginative, larger-than-life version of the lightning press. The graduated steps represent the rolls of paper and rotaries. The white concrete walkway and play unit roof evoke the continuous sheet of paper feeding through the press.
The new playground features an innovative spray shower that recycles runoff as irrigation, block pavers made with 94% recycled content, safety surfacing with 90% recycled content, domestic White Oak bench slats, and nearly 30 trees, including a grove of Dawn Redwoods selected for their resiliency and water efficiency. This project was managed by Landscape Architect Stephen Koren. Congratulations to all who were involved.
Video of the Week
Check out this great video, taken by James Lemyre, of a Bronx Forestry crew rescuing a honey bee hive from a tree downed by Hurricane Irene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3Ec7WykqKk
John Saunders, one of Parks’ two Monuments Conservation Managers, brings extensive technical talents to the hands-on preservation of our monuments and artworks. Seasoned in numerous trades, especially in areas of metal repair and restoration, he has recently put this ability to good use on several projects of note. Last August, John reinstalled the sculptural image of Sri Lanka on the Unisphere. Pried from its moorings during a tornado in the previous autumn, the object crashed to the ground. John conducted extensive shop repairs to restore its structural contours and surface, before the hair-raising reinstallation hoisted aloft in a 176’ bucket crane.
In November, John completed a complex restoration of the Winfield War Memorial, a bronze victory figure walloped by a speeding car, and salvaged for a decade in storage. The supporting structure was disassembled, then refitted for stability and reinstalled. Numerous dents in the bronze surface of the figure were filled with bronze, chased (cleaned and re-sculpted), patined (coated with a tarnish), and recoated. John carved matching stone elements and inserted them into the damaged areas of the granite pedestal (called “Dutchmen” repairs), and then directed the reinstallation on site.
In early February, John’s talents enabled Brooklyn’s McLaughlin Park War Memorial to be rigged and reassembled through a team effort of the Monuments unit. This monument was also toppled by a speeding (stolen) vehicle. Cost estimates for reassembly and repair from a qualified outside contractor were $38,000. The in-house effort proved to be less than one-tenth of the cost, setting things right (literally and figuratively) while saving the City considerable money in the process.
Parks is fortunate to have effective and talented personnel such as John Saunders who are a credit to the City, and show what can be done through in-house know-how.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
“The best measure of a man's honesty isn't his income tax return.
It's the zero adjust on his bathroom scale.”
Arthur C. Clarke
(1917 - 2008)