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The Daily Plant : Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Central Park Opens Restored Cherry Hill Concourse


Photo by Malcolm Pinckney

The reconstruction of Cherry Hill Concourse was celebrated in a ribbon cutting ceremony on June 26. The simplified site design is expected to re-assert the Concourse’s historic role as the ideal vantage point for visitors to take in views of the nearby Lake. The ribbon cutting ceremony and official re-opening of Cherry Hill Concourse was attended by Central Park Conservancy President Doug Blonsky, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, and Conservancy staff.

The Concourse is the primary destination of visitors seeking to admire and photograph the nearby Lake. The Conservancy’s restoration of the site simplified its design, integrating it into nearby landscapes and making the views it affords the ultimate attraction.

In their reconstruction, the Conservancy introduced sustainable materials, plantings and new infrastructure. A new, permeable Concourse surface will allow the landscape to retain rainwater and reduce run-off; new plantings will help to define the perimeter path, which affords unique views of the Lake to visitors traveling on foot.

The site’s existing curbing was salvaged, cut and repurposed for the new design as well. The simplification of the site’s design, which was achieved by leveling the site by removing the Concourse’s three tiers, will enhance the experience of all Concourse visitors, including those traveling by foot, bicycle or horse carriage. Visitor traffic is expected to flow better than before, with views of the Lake more accessible to and enjoyable for all.

The reconstruction of the Cherry Hill Concourse represents the last major part of the
Conservancy’s five-year restoration of the Lake. Besides Central Park maintenance, the Conservancy is also responsible for the restoration and reconstruction of the Park’s numerous landscapes and formal sites. To ensure that sites remain true to the vision of the Park’s original designers and accommodate the growing numbers and types of visitors, the Conservancy has an in-house Planning, Design and Construction team responsible for all design and reconstruction projects.

The Central Park Conservancy’s reconstruction plan was approved by New York City’s Public Design Commission in August 2011, with local community boards voting in support of the Conservancy’s restoration plan earlier that year.

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