Drumgoole Plaza, one of thirteen public open spaces being renovated or newly created with funds granted by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) to develop green spaces, was officially opened today. The construction of Drumgoole Plaza, on Frankfort Street between Park Row and Gold Streets, is the first park completed as part of the $25 million, LMDC-funded project. Pace University provided lighting for the plaza and will maintain the site. Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding Daniel Doctoroff, LMDC President Kevin M. Rampe, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Iris Weinshall, and President of Pace University David Caputo celebrated the opening. Council Member Alan J. Gerson and representatives of Community Board 1 also helped cut the ribbon and unveil the park's new sign.
"Opening Drumgoole Plaza only five months after announcing the overall parks plan illustrates our dedication to the revitalization of the quality of life in Lower Manhattan," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Drumgoole is the first of many projects proposed by Parks & Recreation to open that will create a beautiful and dynamic network of parks and open space in the downtown area. I would like to thank the LMDC and Pace University for their vision and participation in making this and future open spaces in Lower Manhattan a reality."
"As we work together to realize the long-term vision for Lower Manhattan's renewal, we will continue to pursue ways to enhance the quality of life downtown as quickly as possible," said Governor George E. Pataki. "Drumgoole Plaza is the first completed park in a network of new and revitalized parks and open spaces that will accelerate the transformation of downtown. I want to thank the Mayor and the LMDC for aggressively pursuing initiatives that will ensure Lower Manhattan emerges from September 11th even stronger than it was before."
In May, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Governor George E. Pataki announced the LMDC's allocation of $25 million to rejuvenate Lower Manhattan through thirteen new or improved parks. The Department of Parks & Recreation is enhancing each of these sites with horticultural elements such as flowering trees, ornamental shrubs and planting beds, as well as new benches, lighting and decorative paving. Parks & Recreation has reached out to neighboring corporations and individuals in an effort to support the revitalization of the sites.
Parks & Recreation and DOT, with support from Pace University, reconstructed Drumgoole Plaza, transforming this empty lot into a new sitting area complete with 1964 World's Fair Benches, colorful paving, architectural lighting and lush landscaping. Over 20 new trees including Goldenrains, Honey Locusts and Hollies along with 1100 shrubs, perennials and ornamental grasses such as winter hazel, hydrangea, blue star, and striped ribbon grass surround the colorful new plaza and pathway that connect Frankfort and Rose Streets. The area has been completely re-paved and new granite and concrete curbs have been constructed. A comprehensive bird netting system has been installed to improve the public's enjoyment of the area. Drumgoole Plaza is located adjacent to the main building of Pace University at One Pace Plaza.
"Today is the first of many ribbon cuttings for the largest investment in parks and open spaces in Lower Manhattan since the creation of Battery Park City," said President of LMDC Rampe. "Under the leadership of Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg, the LMDC has committed $25 million dollars to fund over a dozen high-impact projects to rejuvenate parks and create new green spaces throughout Lower Manhattan-amenities for a true mixed use community."
"Revitalized open spaces, like this new park, play a central role in the City's vision for a renewed Lower Manhattan," said Commissioner Benepe. "This project was a remarkable collaboration between City agencies that was completed six months ahead of schedule. Thanks to the LMDC and Pace University's commitment, Drumgoole Plaza will serve as a downtown oasis for workers, residents, students and tourists."
"What's so unique about Drumgoole Plaza is that it capitalizes on shadows of the Brooklyn Bridge, enlivening an otherwise uninviting space," said Commissioner Weinshall. "It also represents a terrific collaboration with the Parks Department and Pace University and provides another indication that Lower Manhattan is well on the road to recovery."
Pace University has installed new spotlights along the property to preserve public safety in the evening. They also provided electrical connections for the decorative lights that illuminate the bridge structure. Pace will maintain the new landscaping and plans to work with student volunteers to care for the site. Drumgoole Plaza, a property of DOT, will be managed by Parks & Recreation.
"We're glad Pace could help pull together all the people and departments it took to transform this area into a welcoming park for our neighbors and our students," said Dr. Caputo. "Our students' decision to take on the maintenance reflects the way we encourage engagement in civic affairs as well as our long standing commitments to the environment and to revitalizing the quality of life Downtown."
Drumgoole Plaza was named in 1989 for John Christopher Drumgoole (1816-1888). Drumgoole was best known as a hero of New York's newsboys. An Irish immigrant, who joined the priesthood in midlife, Drumgoole worked tirelessly to help homeless youth. The Priest's Mission of the Immaculate Virgin provided a home for 2,000 homeless working boys, mostly shoe shiners and newsboys.
For more information about the 13 sites funded by the $25 million LMDC grant, visit the City's Lower Manhattan website at www.LowerManhattan.info or www. Renewnyc.com