On Tuesday, 06.10.14, newly-appointed NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, FAICP, and Dr. Feniosky Peña-Mora, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Design + Construction (DDC), were joined by Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, City Council Members Margaret Chin and Corey Johnson, Community Board 2 Chair David Gruber, Washington Square Park Conservancy Executive Director Sarah Neilson, and a score of children from P.S. 41 to open and dedicate the third phase and completion of Washington Square Park’s $30.6 million renovation. The design of the park, by landscape architect George Vellonikos, a longtime Greenwich Village resident, has been complemented by the new north-end public restroom and meeting facility by BKSK Architects, adjacent to the revised and renovated dog run. AIANY testified in favor of the project at the hearing of the Public Design Commission a few years ago, and the Center for Architecture hosted a public hearing on the design, including the dog run. That may have been the only time the canine coalition was out in numbers to voice their support for design change.
But at the ceremony, with kids present, the former controversies were forgotten as the beauty of the design became evident through description and observation. Park Commissioner Silver noted that the park looks better than ever, adding that the de Blasio Administration looks forward to “working with the community to ensure that Washington Square Park remains an inviting oasis to New York City’s residents and visitors for present and future generations.”
DDC Commissioner Peña-Mora noted that “environmentally-friendly amenities for park-goers” would augment the park’s use. He added that Washington Square Park showed the Administration’s commitment to sustainability and worked to “bring our neighborhoods closer together.” Continue reading “Washington Squared”