Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Lower Manhattan Development Corporation President Stefan Pryor, Department of Transportation Commissioner Iris Weinshall, and Department of Design and Construction Deputy Commissioner John Pusz cut the ribbon today on the redesigned Old Slip green space. The $1.5 million project gives the community a cleaner, more verdant gateway to the East River Waterfront and provides the adjacent Police Museum with the beautiful surroundings it deserves.
“The magnificent reconstruction of Old Slip is the result of another successful partnership between city and state agencies, community organizations, and committed citizens. We are very fortunate that the need to preserve and enhance our public common space is a priority to New Yorkers and to our fellow agencies,” said Commissioner Benepe. “An historic place that was a berth for clipper ships in the 19th century is now an oasis for workers, residents, and tourists in a revived downtown.”
“New sidewalks to walk down and a beautiful new park to relax in will make summertime in Lower Manhattan even more enjoyable," said Commissioner Weinshall. "The reconstruction of Old Slip was a collaborative effort between DOT, DDC, LMDC and the Parks Department and takes us one more step towards the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan.”
“The Old Slip, which once facilitated the growth of commercial trade in this area, will now serve as a magnificent open space, enhancing downtown's transformation into a true mixed-use community and providing essential space for recreation and public gathering,” said LMDCPresident Stefan Pryor. “Old Slip is just one of the over a dozen parks and open spaces that the LMDC under the leadership of Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg has funded--amounting to more than 120 acres of new and revitalized recreational areas. We look forward to continuing to work with the NYC Parks Department on an additional $20 million worth of new parks and playground projects in the upcoming years.”
Department of Design and Construction Commissioner David J. Burney, AIA, said, “We are proud to be part of this extraordinary project that is a key element in the City's and DDC's effort to rebuild Lower Manhattan and which substantially enhances the quality of life by providing aesthetically pleasing open space.”
The $400,000 for the green space was provided by LMDC. The Federal Highway Administration granted DOT $1.1 million for the work on the streets. The area will remain DOT property, though the private Paramount Group is responsible for site maintenance.
The renovations encompass both the green space itself and the streets flanking it. The former received new spring plantings, granite curbs, benches and decorative trash receptacles, as per the Parks Department’s in-house design. The roadway improvements included upgrading and relocating underground utilities and fresh asphalt. Also, thanks to the Alliance for Downtown New York’s streetscape program, new light poles will soon make the sidewalks brighter and more pedestrian-friendly. DDC oversaw construction for both the green space and roadwork.
Old Slip originally served as one of the many inlets around lower Manhattan where trade ships could dock during New York’s days as a thriving port city from the 18th to 20th centuries. Its name commemorates the slip's distinct role as one of the very earliest boat docks in New Amsterdam.