Pols Commit to Returning Stanton Storehouse to Community Use
The Stanton Street storehouse inside Sara D. Roosevelt Park – a Parks Department silo – will finally return to community use. But don’t get too excited just yet.
According to a report in The Villager, the Chief of Staff for Councilwoman Margaret Chin, former Community Board 3 Chair Gigi Li, told the Parks subcommittee last week that the city is now committed to this revival of sorts.
“We officially got a commitment from the Manhattan borough Parks commissioner that a green light was given for the two powers that be (Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Citywide Administrative Services) to move forward to returning the park to the community,” Li told the panel.
The eponymous Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coaltion, led by Kathleen Webster, argues that the return as community amenity would help cut back the open-air drug market and reduce overall crime in the park (stabbings appear par for the course).
“Once the community feels an ownership [over the Stanton building] it invites more active positive use, not experienced as a derelict area,” Webster told us. “So yes, the building will not be used for storage. For the first time concrete mechanisms are in place to move the toilet paper out.”
In the meantime, plans are still on the table to carve out public restrooms.
No formal timetable for either.
The Stanton storehouse – 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 for all Manhattan Parks, and de-facto parking lot for city vehicles. Since 1994, though, the Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coalition has fought to reactivate this structure for local accessibility. Most recently, a pitch for use as an active recreational center. Then in 1998 – the city promised to return the brick box to the community, but nothing happened.
And we’re still waiting.