NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, joined State Senator Liz Krueger, Council Member Ben Kallos, Manhattan Community Board 8 197A Task Force Co-Chair Barry Schneider, Manhattan Borough Historian Michael Miscione, and community members to celebrate the completion of Andrew Haswell Green Park Phase 2A construction.
“Thanks to the many city and state funding partners of Andrew Haswell Green Park, New Yorkers will be able to enjoy the views of the East River and the Roosevelt Island tram while in the shadow of Alice Aycock’s monumental sculpture, the “East River Roundabout,” said Commissioner Silver. “A unique location, this latest addition to the greenery on the Upper East Side, will draw visitors looking for a place to relax and appreciate the city scene from a new vantage point.”
"We are rebuilding the East River Esplanade block by block, street by street and park by park," said Council Member Ben Kallos. "The completion of Andrew Haswell Green Park phase 2A represents more open green space for the residents of the East Sixties. Thank you to the New York City Parks Department for their dedication and commitment to getting this park open. East Siders will now be able to enjoy it and its wonderful views of the river"
Senator Krueger stated: "Open space is a precious commodity on the East Side, which is why I’m so pleased to see this phase of the park come to fruition. Finding new ways for East Siders to enjoy fresh air and expansive views, and connect with our waterfront, is vital to the quality of life of our neighborhoods. I thank Commissioner Silver, my elected colleagues, and all the community partners for making this park a reality."
This multi-phase project brings closer to fruition the completion of the master plan for the site. Phase 2A, a $4,664,073 multi-source funded project, is a former heliport site that sits underneath the “East River Roundabout” sculpture installed in 1995 and now is a fully constructed park space. The project transformed the site into a riverside destination with amazing views. Work included extensive structural reconstruction; making the site accessible; and includes decorative pavements, chairs, game tables and plantings. Funders for the project include New York City Council; Council Member Kallos; State Senator Krueger; former Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, now New York City Comptroller; Mayor de Blasio; former Assembly Member Jonathan Bing; N.Y. State Department of State and the N.Y. State Dormitory Authority.
NYC Parks acquired the site in 2007. Phase 1 construction, which improved a portion of the East River Esplanade and created a dog run and planted areas, was completed in 2008. Phase 2B construction, which will result in sloping lawns overlooking the rivert and a re4constructed esplanade next to the old heliport structure, is expected to begin fall 2018.
Andrew H. Green (1820-1903) was a 19th century master planner, reformer and preservationist who led the movement to consolidate the various independent municipalities around New York Harbor into today's five-borough New York City. Green's 50-year civic career began in earnest when he was appointed to the body that was charged with the creation of Central Park. Under Green's leadership the Central Park Commission not only designed and built Central Park, but also planned the Upper West Side, Northern Manhattan and part of today's Bronx. They conceived Morningside, Riverside and Ft. Washington Parks, and brought the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History into existence and gave them each a home. In the 1860s Green realized that it would be easier to plan the metropolitan region in a rational way if the patchwork of competing municipalities around Manhattan could be joined into one city. Green's consolidation scheme came to pass three decades later in 1898, and Green was called "The Father of Greater New York." (via Michael Miscione, Manhattan borough historian)