New City Park Coming to 14 Second Avenue?

Posted on: September 10th, 2010 at 6:30 am by

In the spirit of the Liz Christy Garden just across the way, a new green space seems to be in the works at the northeast corner of East Houston and Second Avenue.  Indeed, the strip of Parks Department land, located beside the former home of Irreplaceable Artifacts, is starting to show evidence of the change. Fresh saplings and shrubbery were recently planted, along with the addition of a stone-lined pathway which terminates near First Park.

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The green project is months in the making, though.  Initial preparations began in the early spring when backhoes cleared much of the vacant dirt lot. However, concrete details regarding the venture are still scant.

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This particular parcel of land has had quite the tumultuous history. Irreplaceable Artifacts occupied a 125-year-old building at 14 Second Avenue, which collapsed in July 2000 and damaged the adjacent structure.  An unlicensed renovation by owner Evan Blum was the sole cause behind the tragedy. The tiny sliver of land has remained largely vacant in the ensuing years, but still attracted proposals for re-development.

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The Lower Eastside Girls Club floated the idea of a dog run in 2004, but that never happened.  Three years later, Blum returned with the idea of building a ten-story hotel on the site. That, too, got the kaibosh. But a park is the perfect countermeasure to the decade-old decay.

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The 14 Second Avenue property is fenced off with remnant artifacts still standing there.  Meanwhile, Irreplaceable Artifacts now operates out of a warehouse on 125th Street.

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