Luther Gulick Playground is at Least Another 2 Years from Rehabilitation

Posted on: August 23rd, 2018 at 5:02 am by

Anyone waiting for a speedy reconstruction of Luther Gulick Playground on Delancey Street will need to wait longer. Much longer.

While the larger project languishes – the undertaking is a decade in the offing – one component of the multimillion-dollar makeover is currently underway. The brand new comfort station (aka public toilets). Groundbreak was more than a year ago, and the structure is finally taking shape above ground. (The bathhouse is under the purview of the Department of Buildings.)

Many in the neighborhood refer to the green space as the “most unattractive” park in the city. With good reason. The park remains largely overgrown and at the mercy of mother nature. Friends of Gulick Playground aims to change that stigma, though. Founded in 2009 with the goal of beautification, the grassroots group has been, over the years, pushing and coordinating with the city to secure funding and help keep the project on track.

However, the $7 million reconstruction hit another roadblock back in the spring, when the lowest bidding contractor dropped out. The city is now reportedly moving forward with the “next lowest bidder,” and assures the community that construction is to begin in the fall. Just keep in mind that timeline overruns are par for the course on these types of projects. (Parks website notes “Working with external agencies, Parks is now reviewing the bid and the vendor’s qualifications.)

Photo: Parks Department

But, if all goes according to plan, the job itself should take about two years to complete. Expect to see updated elements like new basketball, table tennis, and fitness areas, a fully reconstructed playground, picnic area, and a fitness space with outdoor exercise equipment for adults.

Capital funding for the effort comes from a variety of city agencies. Of the $9 million sum raised (in 2014), the $7 million collected from the Manhattan Borough President, state Department of Transportation, City Council, Senator Daniel Squadron, and then-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver goes toward restoration of the park. Mayor de Blasio had also allocated an additional $2 million for new bathrooms in the park.

Recent Stories

Clayton Patterson Gets the Graphic Novel Treatment

Prolific Lower East Side documentarian, Clayton Patterson, is getting his own biography. An illustrated one, at that. The colorful homage is curated by Julian Voloj, and features the work of eighteen artists paying tribute to Patterson’s life and works in graphic novel form. The anthology is aptly titled, Clayton: Godfather of Lower East Side Documentary. […]

Disaster Squared: Coronavirus and Hurricanes Poses Deadly Threat to Lower East Side [OP-ED]

The following editorial is written by Pat Arnow. For more than a year, the city has been ignoring solid community opposition to a massive flood control project that will demolish East River Park, and do the opposite. Now, with a furious hurricane season predicted, not listening could prove dire for these unwealthy sections of the […]

With COLORS Faded, the ‘Bun Hut’ Takes 178 Stanton Street

Where COLORS faded, a new concept for 178 Stanton Street. That’s right, gone not three months, and the ground floor space is again occupied. This time by a fast-casual newcomer called the Bun Hut. It’s an Asian fusion joint that combines Chinese Bao with culinary elements from the Caribbean. Signage is already in place and […]

Two Lower East Side Businesses Join ‘American Dream’ Food Court in the Meadowlands

A host of New York City businesses are headed to the gargantuan American Dream complex in north Jersey. Two of which hail from the Lower East Side, we’ve just learned. Empanada Mama, with locations on Allen Street and Hell’s Kitchen, recently signed a lease to join the party. Apparently the deal was forged during the […]

Displaced Tenants of 70 Mulberry Street Issue Statement on Demolition and Redevelopment

In the wake of a divisive Community Board 3 meeting, in which preservationists were pitted against a desire for return, the displaced tenants of 70 Mulberry Street came together yesterday and issued a joint statement about shared priorities moving forward. Many in the Chinatown community feel that the city, owner of the fire-scorched former school […]