The Daily Plant : Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Columbus Park is March’s Park of the Month
Lower Manhattan’s Columbus Park is March’s Park of the Month. Situated in the heart of one of the oldest residential areas of Manhattan, Columbus Park played a major role as an important public space in a neighborhood that has been home to successive waves of immigrants. It is adjacent to the infamous "Five Points" neighborhood popularized in "Gangs of New York". Throughout the years the park has alternately been named Mulberry Bend Park, Five Points Park and Paradise Park. In recent years, Columbus Park has benefited from a number of major improvements that have made the park more cohesive and welcoming to the local community.
"Columbus Park was one of New York City's first major urban parks and is an important part of the City's history," said Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "The recent renovations to the park, including the new playing field, landscaping, and soon-to-be-completed restoration of the pavilion, are infusing the area with greenspace and providing a welcoming oasis for workers, tourists, and the growing residential community."
Last year, Parks installed a unique playing field at Columbus Park as the first step in an effort to bring a welcome cohesiveness to the park. The $900,000 field was built with a bequest from Joseph Temeczko, a Polish immigrant, and incorporates synthetic turf and asphalt for both volleyball and basketball. The design allows residents to participate in a variety of activities and has been a welcome addition to the neighborhood.
Continuing the revitalization of Columbus Park, work is nearly complete on the restoration of the park’s historic pavilion. The $3.5 million project, developed in partnership with the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), will restore the northern half of the park and reopen the pavilion to provide additional community space. The restored pavilion will include activity space, new restrooms, and barrier-free accessibility. The new gathering space in the plaza will include benches and decorative pavements. The landscaping celebrates the Chinese culture and current immigrant population of Chinatown and was designed by former Parks Landscape Architect Hui Mei Grove.
Bounded by Baxter, Worth, Bayard and Mulberry Streets, Columbus Park is surrounded by court buildings, residential towers, historic brick and stone townhouses and storefronts. The area continues to be a gathering place for people of different cultures and ages.
Park of the Month introduces some our greatest parks and greenspaces to curious New Yorkers and visitors alike. For additional information, please visit our website at www.nyc.gov/parks.
THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT
(Monday, March 14, 1994)
Parks held its annual Masters Swim Meet for men and women at Riverbank State Park’s pool. Over 15 events took place including 50 and 100-yard races in freestyle, backstroke, butterfly and breaststroke. Swimmers ranged in age from 19 to 90 (or mid-70s, anyway).
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it."
(1874 – 1936)