Printers Park

Hot Off The Presses: Parks Cuts Ribbon On Printers Park

Thursday, July 29, 2010
No. 61

Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe today joined Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo to cut the ribbon on Printers Park, an imaginative new playground at Aldus Street and Hoe Avenue in the South Bronx. They were joined by State Assembly Member Marcos Crespo and youth summer campers from St. John Chrysostom School who enjoyed artistic stamping and sand art activities. The new playground, which replaced the existing outdated play equipment, was funded by $1 million allocated by Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo.

“Thanks to $1 million allocated by Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo, Printers Park has been revived with exciting new amenities including imaginative printer-themed play equipment, a spray shower that recycles water runoff, and nearly 30 trees that will provide shade and clean the air we breathe,” said Commissioner Benepe. “Visitors to this park can learn about Richard March Hoe, who lived at this site in the 19th century and forever transformed the newspaper industry with his invention of the world’s first rotary printing press in 1846.”

The park’s play equipment is modeled after a rotary printing press with graduated steps that mimic
the cylinders of the press. A white concrete pathway that runs throughout the site evokes the continuous roll of paper that was fed through the press. The site also includes a new spray shower, sand box, landscaping, fencing, benches and drinking fountain.

Sustainable design elements are incorporated throughout the park design. Water from the spray shower is funneled back into the surrounding planting beds and there was an extensive use of recycled materials including 90% recycled rubber, asphalt block made of 94% post-industrial recycled materials, granite block recycled from remains of the West Side Highway and benches composed of partially recycled metal and domestic hardwood (white oak). Tree species were selected based on their high capacity to absorb stormwater and spray shower runoff, and include dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides), golden weeping willow (Salix alba ‘Niobe’) and serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.). The park was designed in-house by Stephen Koren, with Robert Winstead as Resident Engineer and Dell-Tech Enterprises, Inc. as the Contractor.

Printers Park pays tribute to the property’s 19th century estate owner Richard March Hoe (1812-1886). In 1846, Hoe patented the world’s first rotary printing press, commonly known as the “lightning press” for its remarkable speed. The rotary printing press placed the type on a revolving cylinder, which was more efficient than the traditional flatbed printing press. With subsequent improvements, this rotary press could handle continuous sheets of paper instead of single hand-fed sheets. As a result, the printing press worked faster, mass media newspapers proliferated and by 1850 there were more than 1,000 printers in the city. Hoe passed away in 1886, and was buried in the crypt at St. Ann’s Church in Old Morrisania.

The site was acquired by Parks in 1997. The northern portion of the park was renovated in 2001, at which time the park was renamed Printers Park.

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