New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Parks

TAPinto Elected Officials Announce Nearly $9 Million to Renovate Ruppert Park by Marc Bussanich

Elected Officials Announce Nearly $9 Million to Renovate Ruppert Park

New York, NY—A coterie of elected officials, community groups and advocates gathered on Monday at Ruppert Park during a press conference led by Councilman Ben Kallos (D-5), who announced nearly $9 million to renovate Ruppert Park on the Upper East Side.

The location of Ruppert Park at East 91st Street and 2nd Avenue has a storied past. It used to be home to the Jacob Brewing Company, which started in 1866. It remained in operation for nearly a century, and then in 1969 the 35 buildings between 90th and 94th Streets and 2nd and 3rd Avenues were levelled to make way for the eventual construction of apartment buildings that housed 1,500 affordable housing units.

Upper East Side Patch Ruppert Park's Big Renovation On UES Gets $8.9M Boost by Nick Garber

Ruppert Park's Big Renovation On UES Gets $8.9M Boost

The money means that work may begin as soon as Fall 2022 and wrap up the following year — once plans have been presented to Community Board 8 and the Public Design Commission later this year.

The park occupies the former site of the Jacob Ruppert & Company brewery, which closed in 1965 and was replaced by the Ruppert Towers apartment complex — as well as the park, which opened in 1979.

Though well-loved by East Side families, Ruppert has "a very '70s design," as Kallos described it. Its four-leaf clover shape divides the park into four quadrants, including a little-used grassless area that has been repurposed as a dog run.

Other problems include an excess of vegetation that blocks sunlight and attracts insects, as well as a dearth of sitting areas, rat infestations, outdated play equipment and hilly areas that pose accessibility challenges.

"Ruppert Park has needed an overhaul since I was kid and no one wanted to play there," Kallos said in a statement. "I can't believe it took my lifetime, but Ruppert Park is going to get a complete redesign to become a destination park in the neighborhood that everyone will want to go to."

AM New York Upper East Side park to receive major facelift backed by nearly $8.9 million in funding by Emily Davenport

Upper East Side park to receive major facelift backed by nearly $8.9 million in funding

An Upper East Side park is getting a full and complete renovation thanks to over $8.9 million in discretionary funding from local elected officials.

Ruppert Park, located at 1741 2nd Avenue, was originally built in 1979 and last received $192,000 in funding from then-Council Member Gifford Miller for new benches, sidewalk repairs, planting areas and play equipment. Now, nearly 25 years later, the park will be getting a much-needed upgrade.

Funding for the project comes from Council Member Ben Kallos, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Council Member Keith Powers and from the City Council through Speaker Corey Johnson. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Community Board 8 and NYC Parks, as well as community stewards for Ruppert Park from the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, Muslim Volunteers for New York and nearby Knickerbocker Plaza all joined in heralding the announcement.

“Ruppert Park has needed an overhaul since I was kid and no one wanted to play there. As a dad in the neighborhood, this is the closest park where I can take my 3-year-old daughter and even she gets bored here. I can’t believe it took my lifetime, but Ruppert Park is going to get a complete redesign to become a destination park in the neighborhood that everyone will want to go to,” said Council Member Kallos. “Thank you to Speaker Corey Johnson, Council Member Keith Powers, Assembly Member Dan Quart, Congresswoman Maloney, the Parks Department and the community for their partnership and investment in Ruppert Park.”

“The pandemic has illuminated the importance of well-maintained public space in our neighborhoods. For decades, Ruppert Park has been a jewel of the Upper East Side. I am proud to have helped secure funding for its renovations and look forward to spending time there for years to come,” said Council Member Powers.

Upper East Side Patch $80M Renovation Coming To East River Esplanade On Upper East Side by Nick Garber

$80M Renovation Coming To East River Esplanade On Upper East Side

The city provided no timeline for when work would begin, saying details would be determined during the design process. The Parks and Transportation departments will present the project Thursday night to Community Board 8.

"John Finley Walk is an incredible spot to take a stroll and enjoy the waterfront," Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. "These infrastructure improvements will ensure New Yorkers will be able to enjoy this beautiful promenade for generations to come."

News of the repairs was hailed by local officials, including City Councilmember Ben Kallos, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

Our Town Kallos Allocates $3M to Renovate Ruppert Park by Jason Cohen

Kallos Allocates $3M to Renovate Ruppert Park

As Council member Ben Kallos has received complaints about outdated equipment at Ruppert Park, he stepped up to the plate and allocated $3 million to give it a much needed facelift.

Ruppert Park, located at Second Ave. between East 90th Street and East 91st Street, was built in 1979, yet it has been nearly 25 years since it was renovated.

“We haven’t done enough for Ruppert Park,” the Council member said. “It’s fallen into disrepair.”

According to Kallos, parents with young children will go to any park on the UES but Ruppert.

Upper East Side Patch Upper East Side's Ruppert Park To Get Major Renovation by Nick Garber

Upper East Side's Ruppert Park To Get Major Renovation
  • https://patch.com/img/cdn20/users/23562214/20210505/092803/styles/patch_image/public/upper-east-side-ruppert-park-renovations___05212735918.jpgThe one-acre park, on Second Avenue between East 90th and 91st streets, was built in 1979 by the city's Housing Preservation Department before being transferred to the Parks Department in the 1990s. (Nick Garber/Patch)

A grassless area repurposed as a dog run could be rehabilitated through Ruppert Park's renovations, Councilmember Ben Kallos said. (Nick Garber/Patch)

The one-acre park, on Second Avenue between East 90th and 91st streets, was built in 1979 by the city's Housing Preservation Department before being transferred to the Parks Department in the 1990s.A grassless area repurposed as a dog run could be rehabilitated through Ruppert Park's renovations, Councilmember Ben Kallos said.

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — Ruppert Park, one of the Upper East Side's small but treasured green spaces, is set for a major overhaul thanks to an infusion of new funding, City Councilmember Ben Kallos told Patch.

The one-acre park, on Second Avenue between East 90th and 91st streets, was built in 1979 by the city's Housing Preservation Department before being transferred to the Parks Department in the 1990s.

In that time, it has served countless families and hosted many an afternoon playtime — but Ruppert remains "an acquired taste," Kallos said.

 

"The park has a very '70s design," he said. "Walking by the park as a child, all I saw was a giant six-foot fence and overgrowth that just doesn't seem welcoming."

A fountain in the center of the park is rarely functional, its "four-leaf clover" design has led to two quadrants being under-used, including a grassless stretch that has been repurposed as a dog run. Overly dense trees create a lack of sunlight and excessive moisture in the summertime, attracting bugs, Kallos said.

Upper East Side Patch Long-Awaited Carl Schurz Park Playground Renovation Completed by Nick Garber

Long-Awaited Carl Schurz Park Playground Renovation Completed

One day after it reopened, Kallos said the playground was already jam-packed when he stopped by on Friday, with more than one birthday party underway. The yearlong closure was bound to be a hardship for the neighborhood — and the events of the last few months only amplified that, he said.

"If I knew that the pandemic was going to happen, I probably would've wanted to delay it a year," Kallos said.

A small bit of the renovation remains to be done — the Parks Department still needs to replace one piece of equipment and add an ADA-accessible swing, Kallos said.

Still, most of the work wrapped up just in time: the next few days' forecasts call for 70-degree highs.

New York Post NYPD barricades have turned Gracie Mansion into de Blasio’s fortress, neighbors say by Sara Dorn

NYPD barricades have turned Gracie Mansion into de Blasio’s fortress, neighbors say

Councilman Ben Kallos, who represents Yorkville, said his office has received “dozens” of complaints about the barricades.

“Families who didn’t abandon our city, families who stayed, feel frustrated they don’t have anywhere they can go because Gracie has barricaded off an acre of our limited parkland. Families stop me in the streets, people in my building complain to me, we get phone calls, we get emails. People just don’t understand why the mayor is doing this,” he said.

A map showing Gracie Mansion/Carl Schurz Park closed to the public.Benjamin Kallos

“Gracie Mansion is already fortified. They have already increased the height of the fences,” Kallos said, referring to the 4-foot addition his fellow Democrat erected in 2014 for “privacy” reasons

Statement on Esplanade Collapse at East 76th Street

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

When I got elected the Esplanade was falling into the East River and now it has not once but twice. No sooner than we finished repairs on the collapse between 88th and 90th did we see a new sinkhole collapse at 76th Street. As Co-Chair of the East River Esplanade Taskforce with Congress Member Carolyn Maloney we’ve secured more $278 million to repair this Esplanade with the hope of getting ahead of these collapses. Where previous repairs have taken years or months, the Parks Department will be using funds we’ve already secured to mobilize and promised to begin repairs in the coming weeks. Our taskforce will work to keep this repair on track and restore this vital park space.