City Hall Park
Mayor Bloomberg Expands Access to City Hall Park
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
No. Mayoral 264
City Hall’s Neighborhood Park Open for Expanded Hours
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe today announced that the northern end City Hall Park will re-open to the public beginning tomorrow morning. The park will be open daily from 6:00 am to 1:00 am which will allow the public to walk through it during the morning and evening rush hours, as well as to enjoy the use of the two lawns on the park’s northwest and northeast corners, along with paths, benches, and tables for chess and checkers. There will be entrances to the park on Centre Street, Broadway, and Chambers Street.
“The seat of City government is surrounded by a beautiful park, and today’s announcement furthers our goal of opening green spaces in the City for public enjoyment, and of being a good neighbor to the Lower Manhattan community,” said Mayor Bloomberg.
“We are pleased to reopen this section of City Hall Park as another oasis for recreation and relaxation,” said Commissioner Benepe. “This historic ‘town green’ will again be a welcome respite for New Yorkers.”
To accommodate student needs at the Ross Global Academy, which is housed at the Department of Education’s headquarters at the Tweed Courthouse, the park’s northeast corner lawn, and the entrance on Chambers Street will be open at times when school is not in session, including evenings and weekends, save for two Saturday mornings each month and school breaks and holidays. The northwest entrance on Chambers Street will be unaffected. As with other parks in the City, the lawns may be closed periodically for maintenance and during the winter when the grass is dormant and fragile.
City Hall Park has played a key role in New York civic life for centuries, from its Colonial beginnings as a rebel outpost to its current function as the seat of City government. In 1999 a $39.2 million project fully restored the park, adding a central walkway and gardens and replacing pavement with grass and trees. The northern section of the park, between Murray Street and Chambers Street, was first closed in 2000 when the Tweed Courthouse was under reconstruction. Heightened security concerns after the September 11 attacks and the shooting death of Council Member James Davis at City Hall in 2003 kept this section of the park closed. Those concerns have been addressed in the plan to re-open this section of the park. To meet security requirements and maintain the aesthetic consistency of City Hall Park, a new interior perimeter fence was constructed in the same style as the fences in other parts of the park.