Parks Newsroom > Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Parks Breaks Ground On Playground At Morningside Park
NYC Commissioner of Parks Adrian Benepe addresses Crowd
"Morningside Park is one of the great works of Fredrick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux and thanks to our cooperation with local elected officials and citizen activists, the Park is experiencing a renaissance," said Commissioner Benepe.
"With generous funds from Council Member Dickens and Senator Perkins, and with the input of community groups such as the Friends of Morningside Park, consulting with Parks Designer Alex Hart, we are renovating the playground at West 116th Street and constructing an accessible ramp. What was once a drab concrete area will be transformed into a vibrant play space surrounded by open lawns and trees."
Funded by allocations of $1.4 million from Council Member Dickens and $1 million from State Senator Perkins, while he was a member of the City Council, the reconstructed playground will offer universal access to modern play equipment and a restored spray shower. The southern portion of the elevated concrete deck will be completely removed and restored to a state similar to the original Olmsted & Vaux plan, with open lawns and trees.
Council Member Inez Dickens
Morningside Park was constructed in the late 19th century, with its name derived from its eastern side where the sun rises each morning. Its design evolved in the 20th century and in the early 1950s, a large concrete slab was imposed on the naturalized lawn between West 116th and 119th Streets. Intended to serve as a platform for a wide variety of recreation needs, it deteriorated over time and became known in the community as "the aircraft carrier."
This project removes much of the concrete deck and, by incorporating the play area within a greener environment, it restores Olmsted and Vaux's vision of the park.
Lee Bollinger, President Columbia University, NY State Senator Bill Perkins and Maxine Griffith Executive VP Columbia Unviersity, Chairman Reyes-Monblanc
The reconstruction of the playground was designed by Alex Hart, with a great deal of community input from the Friends of Morningside Park. Work is anticipated to be complete by June 2008.
Chairman Jordi Reyes-Montblanc, CB9M
CONTACT: Warner Johnston / Phil Abramson (212) 360-1311