Andrew Haswell Green Park
Parks Breaks Ground At New Park Along The East RiverIMMEDIATE
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Commissioner Adrian Benepe today joined Borough President Scott Stringer, City Council Members Jessica Lappin and Dan Garodnick, and members of Community Board 8 to break ground on the first construction phase of a new park along the East River. Funding for the $1.6 million project is provided by Borough President Stringer and Council Member Lappin, and private allocations.
“The transformation of this old industrial site to waterfront oasis is a testimony to the persistence and vision of community residents and civic groups,” said Commissioner Benepe. “With funding allocated by Borough President Stringer and Council Member Lappin, this new park with trees, shrubs, a dog run, benches, and game tables will redefine this busy neighborhood, and add another small link in the green chain of waterfront parks championed by Mayor Bloomberg.”
The first phase of this multi-phase construction project will install a new dog run, drinking fountain, game table, fencing, and plantings including trees and shrubs. Alice Aycock’s East River Roundabout sculpture, placed on top of the pavilion in 1995, will also receive new lighting for better illumination. Thanks to Borough President Stringer and Council Member Lappin, Parks has $2.5 million for the project’s second phase, which will improve the York Avenue entrance, provide new railings, and “green” the on-ramp leading to the park’s pavilion by adding plantings and benches.
This future park has long been the site of light industrial activity. The Queensboro Bridge, originally known as Blackwell’s Island Bridge, began construction directly over the site shortly after the turn of the century. In later years, the land would be used for construction materials suppliers and a loading area for the Department of Sanitation. But the site is perhaps best known for its use as a heliport, and to this day a large helicopter remains painted on the north side of the pavilion. Most recently, the future park was a temporary roadway for the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) to accommodate construction on the northbound FDR Drive. NYSDOT is currently finishing its work on the site, and will create curbs and walls for this project.