Upper East Side Patch Project To Revitalize Stretch Of East River Esplanade Breaks Ground by Brendan Krisel
UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — A project to revitalize a two-block stretch of the East River Esplanade broke ground Monday, city officials announced.
Local elected officials and executives from the Hospital for Special Surgery celebrated the beginning of a renovation project that will bring noise barriers, irrigation systems and greenery to the East River Esplanade between East 70th and 72nd streets.
The renovations stem from a 2015 agreement between the Hospital for Special Surgery and the city. In June 2015, the city agreed to allow the hospital to expand its footprint on the Upper East Side in exchange for the esplanade improvements, City Councilman Ben Kallos said in a statement.
"Residents will finally be able to enjoy some peace and quiet, lush greenery and quench their thirst at a new water fountain, in a portion of the park that will be cared for by HSS forever. Sound barriers will quell the noise of passing vehicles, plants that died without water will grow green from irrigation, while residents will have a new water fountain," Kallos said in a statement.
Kallos helped broker the 2015 deal with the Hospital for Special Surgery, which was passed overwhelmingly by the City Council.
Improvements to the East River Esplanade between East 70th and 702nd streets include:
- Eight-foot noise barriers under the hospital's east wing building between East 70th and East 71st streets;
- Irrigation for the East River Esplanade at East 71st Street;
- A water fountain;
- New planting beds and landscaping;
- New and repaired light fixtures;
- New and repaired railings;
- New seating and paving;
- Maintenance in perpetuity by the Hospital for Special Surgery.
"The Esplanade is a beautiful resource for the community, but it urgently needs some TLC. As HSS expands its operations, I am delighted they have agreed to make concrete contributions to an amenity that needs support. I am looking forward to seeing the positive changes," Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney said in a statement.
Photo courtesy Councilman Ben Kallos