A Tale of Two Fences and No One Minding the Store at Washington Sq Park

What is wrong with this Picture? The fence on the bottom right is the 4 foot high fence that the New York City Parks Department has begun installing in the NorthWest Quadrant of Washington Square Park (currently being redesigned) with, I would say, decorative spears on top – in direct defiance of the “Gerson-Quinn Agreement.” And much too high overall.

Washington Sq Park Fence Now

Washington Sq Park Fence Now

Washington Sq Park Fence The City hopes to Install

Washington Sq Park Fence The City hopes to Install

This, as you see, changes the welcoming intimate nature of this Park as demonstrated in the photo on the left which depicts Washington Square Park‘s current 3 foot high fence which has worked beautifully for many years.

The existing height is one which everyone likes – except for designer George Vellonakis and Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NYC Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe because it doesn’t work with their vision of pacifying this magnificent public space into a pass-through garden.

Unfortunately, thus far, I have found no one really minding the store (Community Board 2? Washington Square Park Task Force? NY City Council Member Alan Gerson? Community Groups? Is anyone out there?) to make sure the Parks Department is in compliance with the tepid “Gerson-Quinn Agreement” brokered by City Council Member Alan Gerson and Speaker Christine Quinn. (Yes, it’s tepid in what it ‘won’ on behalf of the Community for the Park’s redesign but at least it’s something. However, apparently the City can’t even adhere to that).

Have you seen the lamps they’ve begun installing? Tragic.

Photo at top: Louis Seigal

Photo bottom: Cathryn / WSP Blog

Great quote about Mayor Bloomberg from Mike Lupica in the Daily News

Why do we always find the best, right-on-target analogies about our Mayor from the sports writers at the New York dailies? Is it something about covering sports that leads to having a clue? Nothing against political journalists but I have not seen this written anywhere else – and it really needs to be said. Often.

NY Daily News
Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mike Lupica, in the Sports pages:

“If Mike Bloomberg is such a beloved, indispensable figure in our city, how come he has to keep spending so much of his own money to be mayor?”

Exactly.