CB1 Discusses Possible Uses of Park Space Along West Street
The long rectangle outlined by blue dots shows the area in which the Battery Park City Authority is seeking ideas for enhancements, on the granite promenade that parallels the West Street and the Hudson River Greenway, between Battery Place and Third Place.
At its October 18 meeting, the Battery Park City Committee of Community Board 1 (CB1) discussed preliminary plans to add active recreation facilities to the granite promenade that parallels the West Street and the Hudson River Greenway, between Battery Place and Third Place. This initiative is contemplated by the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) as a tradeoff to countervail the deficit of open space that will be created for several years, when nearby Wagner Park is closed for reconstruction of resiliency measures.
The BPCA envisions installing furniture, fixtures, and equipment for uses ranging from outdoor fitness and active recreation to lounging and social seating within the outdoor public space, which measures roughly 55,000 square feet.
The exchange at the October 18 meeting began with a presentation by Mimi Taft, the BPCA’s manager of special projects, who said, “the interesting thing that we discovered in our exploration of this area is that it already evolves naturally from a generally public area along Battery Place—where people might be coming off the ferry to the Statue of Liberty, or touring the area—northward into more of a neighborhood area.”
“That gave us the idea of perhaps activating the space with more passive garden play,” she continued, “with gathering spaces in the north and south to create a gateway.” She also envisioned “using some of the southern area potentially for more programming that relates to the school, which is nearby, or replacing some of the fitness programs, like yoga, that were happening in Wagner Park.”
This schematic outlines the types of activities that the Authority envisions facilitating in various zones of the the 55,000-square-foot outdoor space.
Ms. Taft added that preliminary work has looked at “a vocabulary of creating a surface that is welcoming to different types of activities. These would be either temporary, removable, or semi-permanent for the duration of the time that this space was activated.”
She said these surfaces could include synthetic lawns, softer play surfaces with movable seating and play equipment, and plantings.
Committee member Eric Flores asked, “is there still going to be a walkway available in this area? I know a number of parents, including myself, who use this walkway frequently to take my child to school across the highway,” to the newly opened home of P.S. 150, on Trinity Place, behind the Battery Garage.
Ms. Taft indicated that all plans for the promenade will include preserving an easement for pedestrians.
A similar concern was voiced by committee member Betty Kay, who characterized the space as “a big pedestrian-use pathway.”
“Using a mobility scooter, it’s hard for me to get around people,” she said. “Where are you going to find space?” She noted that any new surface installed in the space must be firm enough to support the use of wheeled vehicles, such as mobility scooters and baby carriages.
Committee chair Justine Cuccia concluded the discussion by urging residents with concerns or ideas to take part in an online survey being conducted by the BPCA to gauge local priorities. “People need to fill out that survey,” she said. “The BPCA needs to compile it and come back to us with what’s been said, and we need to get an idea of what the community as a whole decides.”
Take the BPCA’s online survey about enhancements to the promenade here.
The Right to Light
Community Groups Revive Lawsuit Against Towers Using New State Constitutional Provision
A years-long saga of legal battles aiming to thwart the planned development of a cluster of super-tall residential towers proposed for the Two Bridges neighborhood of East River waterfront in Lower Manhattan has taken a new twist, with a lawsuit that relies upon a provision of the New York State Constitution that was approved by voters last November, and formally enacted in January of this year. Read more…
An Attractive Tract
Marte Pushes for New Park and Public Space Alongside the Brooklyn Bridge
City Council member Christopher Marte is throwing his support behind a plan to create a new, dozen-acre linear park in Lower Manhattan on the north and south sides of the Brooklyn Bridge. All of the land in question is already publicly owned, with much of it legally mapped as park space. But the vast majority of this expanse has been closed to public access for more than a decade, mostly to allow for its use as an equipment storage area for various City agencies, and partly in response to security concerns in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Read more…
Scimitar on Subway
Sword Attack at World Trade Center Station Causes Stampede
Amid fears of rising crime, a man with a sword attacked a subway rider last Thursday morning, at the Chambers Street station of the A train. Read more…
Darzu ist erschienen der Sohn Gottes, BWV 40; Sehet, welch eine Liebe hat uns der Vater erzeiget, BWV 64; Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, BWV 80; Was soll ich aus dir machen, Ephraim?, BWV 89. The Choir of Trinity Wall Street; Trinity Baroque Orchestra; Avi Stein, conductor. Free.
In this lecture, Keith Beutler will discuss how surviving reported locks of George Washington’s hair in the holdings of more than 100 public archives and historical museums, including Fraunces Tavern Museum, offer clues about influential, but often forgotten performances of patriotic memory in the early United States. $5.
Gibney opens its 2022-23 presenting season at Gibney Center with the New York premiere of Sidra Bell Dance New York’s IN | REP: Introspection (An Evening of Works). Marking the 20th anniversary of the company, the 65-minute program connects excerpts from works choreographed by Bell since its 2001 founding. The program has been described as “hypnotically seductive” and “brilliant and impressive.” $35-$155. Through Oct. 29.
Lower Manhattan Greenmarkets
Greenwich Street & Chambers Street
Wednesdays and Saturdays, 8am-3pm (compost program: Saturdays, 8am-1pm)
Bowling Green Greenmarket
Broadway & Whitehall St
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8am-5pm (compost program: 8am-11am)
World Trade Center Oculus Greenmarket
Tuesdays, 8am-5pm (ending this month)
The Outdoor Fulton Stall Market
91 South Street, between Fulton & John Streets
Indoor market: Monday through Saturday,11:30am-5pm
CSA pick-up: Thursday, 4pm-6pm; Friday, 11:30-5pm
Outdoor market: Saturdays, 11:30am-5pm
Today in History
On this day 197 years ago, the Erie Canal opened, connecting the Hudson River to Lake Erie and westward. Establishing a direct water route from New York City to the Midwest accelerated the country’s expansion and contributed to New York City’s transformation into an international hub of commerce.
740 – An earthquake strikes Constantinople.
1492 – Lead (graphite) pencils first used
1774 – The first Continental Congress adjourns in Philadelphia.
1775 – King George III of Great Britain goes before Parliament to declare the American colonies in rebellion, and authorizes a military response to quell the American Revolution.
1776 – Benjamin Franklin departs from America for France on a mission to seek French support for the American Revolution.
1825 – The Erie Canal opens, allowing passage from Albany to Lake Erie.
1850 – In northern Canada, Robert McClure sights the fabled Northwest Passagefor the first time
1958 – Pan American Airways makes the first commercial flight of the Boeing 707 from New York City to Paris.
2001 – In the United States, the Patriot Act is signed into law.
2021 – NASA scientists think they have detected the first planet outside our galaxy, in Whirlpool Galaxy (M51), 28 million light-years away 
2021 – UN report says current climate pledges put world on course for “catastrophic” average 2.7-degree Celsius temperature rise this century.
2022 – A UN report released this morning says that climate pledges by countries around the world are falling far short of what is needed to avert devastating consequences.
1609 – William Sprague, English-American settler, co-founded Charlestown, Massachusetts (d. 1675)
1854 – C. W. Post, businessman, founded Post Foods (d. 1914)
1874 – Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, philanthropist, founded the Museum of Modern Art (d. 1948)
1916 – François Mitterrand, French lawyer, 21st President of France (d. 1996)
1947 – Hillary Clinton, 67th United States Secretary of State
1951 – Julian Schnabel, painter, director, and screenwriter
899 – Alfred the Great, English king (b. 849)
1675 – William Sprague, co-founder of Charlestown, Massachusetts (b. 1609)
1930 – Harry Payne Whitney, American businessman, horse breeder (b. 1872)
1972 – Igor Sikorsky, engineer and academic, founded Sikorsky Aircraft (b. 1889)