Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe today joined Lower Manhattan Development Corporation President Kevin M. Rampe, Council Member Alan Gerson, and Community Board 1 Vice-Chair Richard Kennedy to celebrate the renovation of Bowling Green. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) allocated $854,000 to renovate Bowling Green.
"Bowling Green is New York City's first park and the site of many historical moments,” said Commissioner Benepe. “We applaud the LMDC for making it a priority to fund renovation projects to greenspaces in Lower Manhattan, ensuring that Bowling Green will continue to play an important role in New York City."
"New York City’s first park has been given a new look and this is just one of the over a dozen new and revitalized parks and green spaces downtown, with six to debut in the upcoming weeks,” said LMDC President Kevin M. Rampe. “Bowling Green has long been a favorite lunchtime location for employees and an urban oasis for visitors and residents. Under the leadership of Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg, the LMDC has made an unprecedented commitment of $25 million dollars for open spaces to improve downtown's public spaces to further enhance the quality of life in Lower Manhattan."
The iron fence, originally installed in 1771, was restored as part of the project. The fence is a Historical Landmark and survived the 1776 incident when, after the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence (in New York State), angry citizens toppled the nearby statue of King George III.
The restoration included the replacement of the perimeter bluestone sidewalks and the interior paths. The lawn within the park’s oval was re-sodded and new landscaping and plantings were also added. In addition, lighting modeled after old-fashioned gas lamps are a new feature of the park, as well as are old-fashioned style benches. Finally, a new irrigation system was installed. The park renovation was designed by Allan Scholl and the Project Manager/ Resident Engineer was Charles Tesler. The contractor was Trocom Construction.
The project is part of LMDC's plan to rehabilitate and create parks 13 different green spaces in downtown Manhattan. Parks & Recreation has obtained more than $37 million from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, Federal, State, and City governments, foundations and corporations to rebuild parks and create new open spaces in the downtown area.