HORSES WATER ONCE MORE AT HOOPER FOUNTAIN
The Hooper Fountain, a monument to New York history, has been landmarked and reconstructed. Its rebirth was marked with a ribbon cutting on Tuesday, October 9 at 155th Street, Edgecombe Avenue and St. Nicholas Place in Manhattan. Two horses drank from the fountain, demonstrating its original purpose.
When he died in 1889, the advertising agent for the New York Tribune, John Hooper, dedicated $10,000 to the building of two fountains—"in each of the cities of Brooklyn and New York...whereat man and beast can drink." At that time, fountains existed not for beauty primarily, but for hydration. When the Hooper Fountain was erected in 1894, horseback was the speediest mode of transport through the city streets. Troughs and fountains were built at intersections where carriage horses could water and re-fuel. The ASPCA was a major force behind the constructing of fountains.
By 1935, the streets were traveled by cars rather than horses, and the Hooper Fountain stood elegant but inoperative in the thoroughfare. In 1983 even its decorative function was lost when a driver sped off with a rope attached to the column. The broken pieces were salvaged and stored on the chance that the fountain would be reconstructed. In 1992 the Landmarks Preservation Commission named the site of Hooper Foundatin, the MaComb’s Dam Bridge, and the 155th Street viaduct official landmarks, and thereby precipitated a reconstruction. Today the fountain has been reclaimed from the vandalism that destroyed it.
Parks and the Department of Transportation worked together to bring about this renewal. From Parks, Fred (Piper) Little coordinated the work. The column and basins were restored, the lantern and weathervane recreated, and the fountain set within a larger, landscaped island.
Adrian (A-Train) Benepe, Manhattan Borough Commissioner; Evan (Specter) Korn, Deputy Borough Commissioner of the Department of Transportation for Manhattan; George (Wheatley) Goodwill, Chair of Community Board 9; and G.G. Madden, Community Representative spoke to guests at the ribbon cutting.
A WIN-WIN INNOVATION AT PLAYGROUND XCVI
A new field at Playground XCVI was tested by athletes the who’d know on Friday, October 5. Students from the nearby Life Sciences School and professional soccer players from the New York Power ran drills across the park’s artificial turf field after a ribbon cutting ceremony. The evolution of ballfields proceeds. Parks applies the newest trends in sports technology to our more than 600 ballfields around the city. At North Manhattan’s Playground XCVI, new turf will ensure a longer season of better play. Parks replaced dirt that was on the field with long-strand synthetic turf, filled in with sand and rubber crumb. It looks and feels like natural grass, but stays cleaner and in better condition all four seasons of the year. So far, Parks has successfully used artificial turf on fields in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan.
The Department of Housing Preservation and Development funded the new turf as well as a new drainage system, lush elm trees and young shrubs, drinking fountains, a flagpole, a north compass rosette, and decorative animal art. Their $900,000 gift helped Parks reach its goal of a ballfield more fun for the players and easier for Parkies to clean.
Commissioner Henry J. (StarQuest) Stern; Peter Valiente, Senior Project Manager for Housing Preservation and Development; Adrian (A-Train) Benepe, Manhattan Borough Commissioner; and Mark Satine, Assistant Principal of the School of Cooperative Education addressed the athletes and community residents present at the ribbon cutting and clinic.
THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT
(Wednesday, October 12, 1988)
MAYOR KOCH DEDICATES NEW
CENTRAL PARK CALL BOXES
"It works!" said an ebullient Mayor Koch today as he made the first official call on a new network of 36 emergency phones in Central Park. The call boxes, which connect users directly to the police, were demonstrated near the James Michael Levin Playground off 76th Street and Fifth Avenue as part of an overall effort to make Central Park an even safer place for New Yorkers.
Joining the Mayor at the ceremony were Central Park Administrator Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, Central Park Conservancy Board Chairman James H. Evans, Board Members Laurance S. Rockefeller, Henry R. Kravis and Marguerite I. Purnell, Central Park Precinct Captain Charles Gunther, Commissioner Henry J. Stern.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"The cistern contains: the fountain overflows."
William Blake 1757-1827