FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
Eastern Portion Of Long Island City's Murray Playground Has Reopened With New Central Green And Performance Space After $1.275 Million Renovation
NYC Parks’ Queens Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski announced that work on the new performance space and central green at Murray Playground has been completed, and the eastern portion of the site reopened this past weekend.
"Murray Playground is a great community amenity for Long Island City residents of all ages, whether human or canine. This new plaza and performance area will be a great complement to the recently completed playground, and a boon for local arts groups," said Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski. "I would like to thank the Borough President's office for their continued support of Murray Playground.”
“I am so pleased that the Borough President’s Office was able to allocate $1.275 million toward the construction of the central green and performance space at Murray Playground,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “It was a worthy investment because these two new additions will make Murray Playground an even more attractive recreational area and help improve the quality of life of everyone who lives in the vibrant community of Long Island City.”
“Great parks equal great neighborhoods,” said New York City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. “The addition of a new performance space at Murray Playground now gives local artists and performers who live in Long Island City a one-of-a-kind venue to showcase their work. Long Island City has quickly become the center of arts and culture in New York City and these new enhancements will give thousands of Long Island City residents the ability to enjoy outdoor performances in their very own neighborhood. Since taking office I am proud to say that I have allocated over $10 million toward enhancing parks and playgrounds throughout my district. I thank Queens Borough President Melinda Katz for sharing my commitment toward improving our open spaces here in Western Queens.”
This project creates a new central green and a new performance area. The central green is lined with 1964 World’s Fair-design benches and surrounded by a walking path constructed using permeable paving stones. The new performance area provides a stage area and a tiered seating wall. As part of this work, the site was redesigned to be more resilient. In addition to the permeable paving stones, there is significantly less paved area, and more trees and shrubs. The project also includes a new water source for the existing dog run and community garden, and repairs to existing fencing. This work was funded with $1.275 million allocated by the Office of the Queens Borough President, and designed by NYC Parks’ landscape architect Thomas Brown.
This is the latest in a series of improvements for Murray Playground, with a renovated playground completed in 2012, and a new comfort station and synthetic turf field completed in 2010. These past improvements were funded with a total of $1.5 million allocated by the Mayor’s Office and $1.925 million allocated by the Queens Borough Presidents’ Office
This playground is named for John F. Murray (1889-1944), a NYC Parks recreation supervisor and lifelong Queens resident. In his free time, Murray led the Long Island City Knights of Columbus and trained local boxers. He and his wife, Catherine, had two sons, Colonel John Murray and Captain William Murray, who both served in the Army.