New York Daily Photo Analytics

Friday, May 15, 2009

Verdant Oasis

Frequent users of Washington Square Park have been eagerly awaiting its reopening. It has been closed for one and one half years - since November 2007. The renovations were a contentious battle - I wrote about it in Jeopardy. There were lawsuits and fighting over the big stuff and the little stuff too: size of the plaza, moving the fountain, height of fences, width of walkways, removal of mounds, trees, grass, plants - no stone was left unturned.
The reconstruction is being done in phases - the first (approximately 2/3rds of the park) is the largest and includes the fountain and plaza area. So its reopening has been highly awaited, particularly by local habitues like myself and a number of friends.
In the last few weeks the fountain has been tested - I have chanced upon it twice. Yesterday morning I took a photo through a hole in the chainlink fence.
The entire renovation process has been less transparent to the community than many would have liked and its reopening is mired in secrecy. Even at this late date, no one appears to know the date of its reopening. There are speculations and rumors. Some say it will first open uneventfully with an official celebration later. Surprising, being that this is a relatively major event.
Historically, the park has been a center for cultural activity - music, chess, scrabble, art, street performing, skateboarding, filming, parades, marches, protests, rallies, concerts and a myriad of events both regular and spontaneous. Numerous local eccentrics. And, of course, still plenty of drug dealing. The park also serves as New York University's de facto campus, so students are abundant.
It seems certain that the park will open within the next week or so. Keep an ear to the ground or an eye to this website. When it opens, visit soon - everything is green, beautiful and immaculate. I see it outside my window now - a verdant oasis awaits you ...


Anonymous said...

Wow, the NYU Tisch Pfizer Fountain is awesome!

Brian Dubé said...

Yes - it is the original, reconstructed and moved to line up with the arch. The fart west of the completed section has some beautiful plantings.