Carl Schurz Park
The Daily Plant : Thursday, November 30, 2000
KIDS SHARE THE CATBIRD SEAT WITH THE MAYOR
In the design phase of renovations at Carl Schurz Park, a small boy approached the architect, Linda Lawton. He asked her to include a hopscotch court in her plans for his neighborhood playground. Today, two beautiful white courts testify to her concern and Parks' responsiveness when community residents-including those who give their height in centimeters-offer input. The ribbon was cut on the reconstructed playground, christened Catbird Playground Tuesday, November 28. Commissioner Henry J. (StarQuest) Stern; Council Member A. Gifford (Junior) Miller, who funded the reconstruction, Chairman of Community Board 8, M. Barry (Riviera) Schneider; President of the Carl Schurz Park Association, David (Black Lab) Williams; Architect and Project Manager, Linda Lawton; and Manhattan Borough Commissioner, Adrian (A-Train) Benepe were present to celebrate.
Just a hop skip and a jump away from the playground is Gracie Mansion, where Mayor Giuliani occupies what some might call "the catbird seat." Tuesday's ribbon cutting sent an important message: the park may be the Mayor's front yard, but its future belongs to everyone. A playground that was once for small children, it was redesigned especially for preteens. Community Board 8 voiced the need for renovations adapted to older users, and Parks undertook the assignment. As the kids grow up, the park will grow with them. The new steel play equipment is designed with slides, overhead ladders and rings on the high platforms. Under the decks are more activities and challenges to be uncovered. With new benches, pavement, and safety surfacing, the playground will be a safer, more inclusive place to play.
A ring of 70 year old London Plane trees remain as reminders of a bygone era. The grounds were once home to a flower garden and sitting area and before that, to the numerous animals featured in decorative art panels around the playground (excepting the winged alley cat, the catbird). Techies will be interested to know how these panels were crafted. The illustrations were scanned and edited on disks. Then the disk was inserted into a machine that guided a water jet cutting tool through the thick black granite. The cutting of the granite infill pieces was also guided by computer disk.
THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT
(Thursday, December 3, 1987)
HOLIDAY TREES TO BE LIGHTED AT CITY HALL AND OTHER PARK LOCATIONS
Fa-la-la-la-la! Deck Parks malls with boughs of holly ... Or better yet ... Come witness the 74th annual City Hall tree lighting on Tuesday, December 8 at 5:15 P.M.
This year's festivities to be held on the steps of City Hall, feature Mayor Koch and Commissioner Stern lighting a 56-foot balsam fir from Cranberry Lake, New York. The 70-member Simon Baruch Junior High School Choir and Fordham University Brass Ensemble will then perform holiday favorites.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"Red Barber announces the Dodger games and he uses these expressions-picked them up down South. 'Tearing up the pea patch' means going on a rampage, 'sitting in the catbird seat' means sitting pretty, like a batter with three balls and no strikes on him."
James Thurber (1894-1961)
Directions to Carl Schurz Park
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