Local Advocates Advance the Fight to Return the ‘Stanton Storehouse’ to the Community

Posted on: December 14th, 2016 at 5:18 am by
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The so-called “Stanton Storehouse” at the top of Sara D. Roosevelt Park must return to community use, locals continue to advocate.

As previously disclosed, the building – once upon a time a youth center – was seized by the government around thirty-some-odd years ago. Its current function remains Parks Department storage (it serves Manhattan Parks) and de-facto parking lot for city vehicles.

Since 1994, though, the eponymous Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coalition has fought to reactivate this structure for community accessibility. Four years later – in 1998 – the city even promised to return the brick box to the community.

That never happened, though.

Nevertheless, efforts to force its return are finally gaining some much-needed exposure. The Coalition held a series of scoping sessions over the summer to brainstorm possible uses. (There were several ideas floated related to it becoming an “innovative resiliency center.) Parks Department was reportedly invited to these get-togethers, yet didn’t show. And most recently, Coalition president K. Webster provided testimony earlier this month during City Council Parks & Recreation Committee on Parks Department’s “Inaccessible Parks Buildings,” an excerpt of which is below.

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The onsite public bathrooms may soon reopen, too, thanks to an allocation of $1 million in city funding. Councilwoman Margaret Chin and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer helped make that happen, a move that should curb the excess excrement consistently found in the park. Renovations are currently in the design phase, and the proposal for the new bathrooms will go before Community Board 3 in January.

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