Collect Pond Park
Leonard St. bet.ween Centre St. and Lafayette St.
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Located on Leonard Street between Centre and Lafayette Streets, this park occupies the eighteenth century site of Collect Pond. The pond was a large, sixty-foot deep pool fed by an underground spring. The waters derived their name from seventeenth century Dutch settlers, who called it “kolch” meaning “small body of water”. Following the English capture of New Amsterdam (1664), the name was corrupted to “collect.” Throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Collect Pond was a favorite spot for picnics and ice-skating. In 1796, John Fitch (1743-1798) launched one of the first experimental steamboats on the waters. During this time, the pond was still clean enough to use for the area’s drinking water. By the early nineteenth century, however, New York City had transformed the sparkling waters into a communal open sewer. Disgusted, local authorities initiated a project to fill the sewer with earth from an adjacent hill. In 1805…
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Collect Pond Park
This park will be closed to transform it into a lush green space with a reflecting pool and other elements that will evoke the large pond here that served as a source of fresh water for the early residents of lower Manhattan. An interactive spray shower will provide recreational opportunities in a community where they are greatly needed. A plaza with benches and tables will attract workers and jurors during lunchtime as well as others attending the surrounding courthouses and community residents. The new park also will include a pedestrian bridge over the pool, decorative pavements, plantings, lighting, bicycle racks, drinking fountains, trash receptacles, fencing and gates. The former parking lot will be incorporated into the park.
Anticipated Completion: Fall 2013
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