The Daily Plant : Tuesday, January 15, 2002
A BRONX PARK GETS A SPLASH OF HISTORY—AND WATER
Parkies, elected officials, police and community members gathered on Monday, January 14, to celebrate the reopening of The Bronx’s Highbridge park. The ceremony was held directly above the resting place of the Old Croton Aqueduct, the first of its kind ever constructed in the United States. Using a then-state-of-the-art gravity feed, the waterway fed drinking water 41 miles, from Westchester’s Croton River into New York City. At Highbridge Park, the Old Croton Aqueduct bends and crosses the 620-foot wide Harlem River on the city’s oldest bridge, the High Bridge. This delivery system was in place from 1842 until 1958.
In redesigning this park, Parks architect Ricardo (Ashbridge) Hinkle wanted to honor this hidden relic of New York City history. An inscription on the ground informs visitors that the brick plaza has been perfectly aligned with the aqueduct beneath it. Following bend in the aqueduct’s path, steps have been built to allow park visitors to the base of the High Bridge. Running parallel to the Old Croton Aqueduct trajectory, Parks constructed a stone channel, which collects water from five linearly-laid ground sprays—and one water-spitting stone frog—before cascading towards the bridge. A handicap access ramp will now allow everyone to reach the bridge. The ramp also serves as a terrific place from which to enjoy the spectacular vista of the Harlem River and northern Manhattan.
For many years, the High Bridge been closed to the public, but Parks hopes to one day reopen the bridge. On that day, Highbridge Park will become a green gateway allowing visitors the opportunity to complete the aqueduct’s historic journey from the Bronx to Manhattan. Until then, visitors to the park will enjoy wonderful views as they stand at the park’s perimeter fencing which was inspired by the historic steelwork of the High Bridge.
Commissioner Henry J. (StarQuest) Stern; Bill (Zorro) Castro, Bronx Borough Commissioner; Dorothy (Polka) Lewandowski, Bronx Chief of Operations; Council Member Helen D. (Redemption) Foster; Former Council Member Wendell (Reverend) Foster; Police Captain Nicholas (Captain Moose) DiMuro; Ade (Flying Eagle) Rasul, Community Board 4 Chair; Charlotte (Russe) Fahn of Friends of Old Croton Aqueduct; and Highbridge Park’s architect Ricardo (Ashbridge) Hinkle were all on hand to cut the ribbon and unveil the parks historical sign.
THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT
(Tuesday, January 24, 1989)
THE YEAR IN REVIEW: MANAGEMENT & BUDGET
In 1988 Management & Budget continued to revise Parks policies and create new initiatives to improve overall agency performance. Highlight include:
The first annual Employee Annual Awards Ceremony held last February honored Parks’ employee of year, rookie of the year, Commissioner’s award recipient, and manager of the year. Seventy-four employees of the month were honored in 1988, the first full year of the agency wide program.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
We are stardust,
We are golden,
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back in the garden