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Van Cortlandt Park

The Daily Plant : Tuesday, December 12, 2000

AT OLMSTED INNOVATIVE DESIGNS LAY THE GROUNDWORK FOR EXCITING RECREATION


Before some of us ever hear of Capital Design projects, they reach a landmark moment-when the design is completed and passed through review, just before they go up for bid. At Olmsted this is a moment to celebrate and recognize good work. Two months ago, Chief of Design, Paul (Polecat) Ersboll instituted The Project of the Week, which honors one outstanding project about to go up for bid. Jennifer (Juggler) Slaw consults Director of Landscape Architecture David Carlson, Director of Architecture Vincent (Winged Victory) Colangelo, Director of Engineering Arjun (Energy) Sheth and Paul (Polecat) Ersboll, and together they select a project to be showcased in the lobby at Olmsted. Today the Daily Plant announces two recently featured projects.

The winning project for the week of December 4, 2000 is the reconstruction of Van Cortlandt Lake in Van Cortlandt Park, the Bronx. The project will address the ecological health of Van Cortlandt Lake, which is currently unusable, and mine its potential to enhance one of the Bronx's major open spaces. The transformation will involve the hydraulic dredging of 45,000-50,000 cubic yards of sediment from the lower basin and the mill pond of the lake. The dredging will improve drainage and foster a better habitat for wildlife. The dredge spoils will then provide the raw material to manufacture topsoil that will be used in the reconstruction of two Van Cortlandt Park soccer fields, a careful recycling of resources in which the waste of one project will become the substance of a second.

A Vortechnic system will trap solids that flow down with the runoff of the Mosholu Parkway and the Major Deegan Expressway, and separate these from the water that the lake needs. The Vortechnics, strategically placed at highway runoff points, is expected to remove 80% of the suspended sediments and thereby purify water before it enters the lake. The plan also proposes extensive measures to control erosion around the lake and, making use of existing pathways and crosswalks, a Greenway Bikepath will be extended from Jerome Avenue into the Park and end just south of the lake.

The project is being funded with DEP Mitigation Dollars, ISTEA funds and matching funds from the city of New York. Congratulations to all the brains behind a beautiful redesign: Deputy Chief of Design Michael Browne, Registered Landscape Architect (RLA); Director of Landscape Architecture David Carlson, RLA; Project Manager Steve DesNoyer, RLA; Landscape Architects: James (Harmonicat) Mituzas, RLA and Marcha Johnson, RLA; Director of Engineering Arjun (Energy) Sheth, Professional Engineer (PE); Engineers: Peter (Paw) Wolpensinger, PE and Mikhail (Tactiturn) Bromblin; Specifications Writers Steven (Perennial) Whitesell and Michael Bolger; and consultant Dr. Dick (The Dirt Doctor) Lee.

MURRAY HILL PLAYGROUND IS NAMED PROJECT OF THE WEEK

This week's project of the week highlights the link between recreation and learning. The reconstructed Murray Hill Playground will be a place to lead children's imaginations back in time and provide them with a safe place to play. Thematic elements in the playground design accent its relationship to Thomas Jefferson for whom the neighboring school, the Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, is named. At the entranceway, play equipment refers the viewer's eye to the Neo-Classical style that Jefferson favored and to the Classical style it was based on. The unit is symmetrically designed with a pediment, entablature and columns. Lions at the entranceway evoke gladiatorial battles of Classical times. The design also includes plans for new pavements, curbs, walls, benches and water and drainage fixtures. New plantings will be protected with a fence. Congratulations to Landscape Architecture Project Manger Frank (Serpico) Strauch, Supervisor for Environmental Engineering Peter (Watercat) Williams, Specifications Writer Susan Coker, and everyone involved in completing this phase of the work. Reconstruction on Murray Hill Playground is estimated to begin this spring with funding by City Council Member Julia (Mama Bear) Harris.

THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT
(Tuesday, December 15, 1987)

TAKE A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE...AND THE GENTLE SIDE WITH THE RANGERS

Though the winter days are short, there is no shortage of Urban Park Ranger walks and workshops in the city's parks. The animals, trees and even the landscape of New York's many parks are ever-changing. Animals scurry for food and shelter: deciduous trees store energy for the spring: and the snow, wind and freezing temperatures are sculpting the lakes and hills into a winter wonderland.

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"We shape our buildings: thereafter they shape us."

Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

Directions to Van Cortlandt Park

Van Cortlandt Park Weather

  • Sat
    Mostly Sunny
    81°F
  • Sun
    Chance Thunderstorms
    86°F
  • Fri
    Chance Thunderstorms
    85°F
  • Tue
    Mostly Sunny
    88°F

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