FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 23, 2019
NYC PARKS BREAKS GROUND ON THE ELIZABETH H. BERGER PLAZA CONSTRUCTION PROJECT
NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, today joined Department of Transportation Borough Commissioner Edward Pincar, Jr.; Council Member Margaret Chin; Deputy Borough President Matthew Washington; Manhattan Community Board 1 Chair Anthony Notaro; Downtown Alliance President Jessica Lappin, and members of the community to break ground on the construction of Elizabeth H. Berger Plaza.
“Elizabeth H. Berger Plaza will reimagine this bustling corner in Lower Manhattan, providing new open space for the area,” said Commissioner Silver. “By combining two plazas and redesigning the layout with pathways, plantings, and gathering places, this project embodies the energy and innovation of its namesake.”
“As the President of the Downtown Alliance, Liz Berger was a force to be reckoned with,” said Council Member Chin. “I will always remember her passionate advocacy for a greener, more vibrant Lower Manhattan. That’s why the Elizabeth H. Berger Plaza is such a wonderful tribute to her legacy—it pushes forward her dream for a better Downtown. As her friend, it was an honor to help make this Plaza a reality. I want to thank the Downtown Alliance and Parks Department for making this possible.”
“Today we broke ground for a new plaza that will enhance our community well into the future,” said Manhattan Community Board 1 Chair Anthony Notaro. “It will serve all and will be filled with life from an adjacent school and more residents and visitors to Lower Manhattan. Liz Berger was always confident about our community and there are no more fitting investments than to build a new park.”
“We can’t wait to see this space transform into an inviting park for the neighborhood, and it’s so fitting to have named in honor of Liz Berger,” added Downtown Alliance President Jessica Lappin. “She was a tireless champion for Lower Manhattan and this project is the cornerstone of her vision for revitalizing this area of Greenwich Street.”
The project will combine two existing plazas, reroute traffic exiting from the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel, and remove excess roadbed along Greenwich Street. The new plaza will feature a contoured lawn; raised berms; seating and open space; paved pathways; and new plantings. The project will also revise traffic engineering and road design, with new ADA compliant crosswalks, traffic signals, and curbs.
The $5.9 million project was funded by a $2.8 million allocation from Mayor Bill de Blasio, $300,000 from Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and $2.8 million from the New York City Council.
The plaza will transform the area into a “village green,” dedicated to the memory of Elizabeth Berger, who initiated the planning for this project. Berger, the former President of the Alliance for Downtown New York, was a champion of Lower Manhattan where she lived and worked for 30 years.