Phase III Washington Square Park: New Bathroom/Park Administrative Building

Design for new bathrooms/park admin offices

This is the design for the main part of Washington Square Park Redesign Phase III: the Park administrative offices and bathrooms. Presently these are three separate buildings (ladies/mens room and park admin offices) and now they will be combined. There will be a path that separates the building from the new dog run — people will be able to sit and watch the dogs — which is being moved to the exterior of the park along Washington Square South(it’s not shown but it will be on the right in this photo). The walls to the offices will be glass and you will be able to view the park personnel working there (and they will be able to view you). On top is a wood trellis – to be constructed with “salvaged Ipe wood” – rainforest wood allegedly being reused, unlike the endangered, virgin Ipe wood used on the benches at the rest of the park – and the balance of the building is steel and stone. The architects (an outside firm hired by the NYC Parks Department) call this building a “pergola.” It looks a bit modern to me and others thought it looked like it belonged in a suburban train station but we’ll see…

This is what went before the Landmarks Preservation Commission yesterday. I was unable to attend but hoping to get an update.

Update: LPC hearing did not happen because they did not have a quorum — one of the commissioners is a partner in the architecture firm that designed the above and recused himself. New date to be scheduled.

** Update: this was approved.**

Late 2010: Large Dog Run and Mounds Formerly in Phase II Moved into Phase III.

Community Board 2 Parks Committee to Meet Wed. Feb. 3rd – Will discuss WSP

Updated 2/3
* Wednesday, February 3rd, 6:30 p.m., Community Board 2 Parks Committee Meeting – on agenda: status report by NYC Parks Dept on Phase III design of Washington Sq Pk comfort stations/bathrooms. As far as Phase II updates…

At the last WSP Task Force/CB2 Parks Committee meeting in December, the Parks Department was admittedly unprepared and said they’d return in February 2010 with details on current status of Phase II construction including presentation of various final details of the plan plus current status of plans for Phase III, the Washington Square Park maintenance building and rest rooms. Will that be part of this meeting or will that happen at another time?

Update: According to CB2 Parks Committee Chair Tobi Bergman, the Parks Department was asked to bring information and diagrams relating to Phase II to this meeting.

Location: St. Anthony’s Of Padua, 154 Sullivan (between Houston & Prince), Lower Hall

Washington Sq Park Task Force to Meet about Design of WSP Buildings – Administration and “Comfort Stations” – Wednesday, May 6th

Some News: There will be a meeting of the Washington Square Park Task Force and Community Board 2 Parks Committee on Wednesday, May 6th focusing on the design of Washington Square Park‘s comfort stations (i.e., bathrooms) and administration buildings, all located on the South side of the Park.

Community Board 2 Chairperson Brad Hoylman sent out a special notice yesterday about this meeting. From the notice: “In previous public hearings about reconstruction of the park, many community residents focused on the condition of the rest rooms as the single worst condition in the park and CB 2 has prioritized the construction of the new facility. At this meeting, the Washington Square Task Force and the CB 2 Parks Committee will meet with the Parks Department to discuss the scope for this project. This meeting represents the most important opportunity for the community to advise the Parks Department of our needs and preferences regarding this important project. All are welcome to attend.”

I respect Brad Hoylman a lot. He has been extremely helpful and welcoming to me. Community Board 2 is addressing many critical issues in the neighborhoods it represents (overcrowding in local schools and open space issues among them — also included in the special notice). But I question whether this is the “most important opportunity for the community to advise the Parks Department of our needs and preferences regarding this important project.”

There have been four Washington Square Park Task Force meetings since July of last year addressing crucial phases and issues related to Washington Square Park and none of them – to my knowledge – had special notices sent out informing people about them. (The other meetings were well attended and they were listed on the CB2 regular e-mailed Monthly Calendar. Yet, a “special notice” gets people’s attention.)

It’s true that a large percentage of park users and neighborhood residents wanted the bathrooms given priority (they’ve fallen into serious disrepair). However, that sentiment applied to moving the implementation of their reconstruction up in the Parks Department’s plan to Phase I (or even Phase II) of the project, not to leave this for last – which is what is happening.

To learn more about the plans and/or give input, here are the details:

Washington Sq Park Task Force/CB2 Parks Committee Meeting
Wednesday, May 6th, 5:45 p.m., Meet at WSP Maintenance Office (south side of Park); Continues afterwards (approximately 6:30 p.m.) at Judson Memorial Church, Assembly Hall, 239 Thompson Street (off Washington Square South).

Check out Community Board 2‘s new web site.