The Landmarks Preservation Committee was supposed to vote on the $16 million Washington Square Park remodeling plan Tuesday, but the decision was delayed. That didn't curb the outrage, though, as residents turned out to voice their displeasure (and display poorly designed signs) on the proposal's usual suspects: the perimeter fence, the raising of the sunken central plaza and the removal of the Great Hills of Manhattan. Parks Department landscape architect George Vellonakis' presentation was met by a combination of soft hisses, soft boos, hisses, boos, loud hissing, loud boos and cheers (although those came only when an L.P.C. board member questioned the proposed changes), but really, he's okay with it.
How do we know? Well, the Times gave Vellonakis the profile treatment today, and the dude's been through way more contentious situations in his day ("Rapist of Downtown Brooklyn," anyone?). He weighed in on the concrete mound controversy: "Not pretty! Doesn't it make you want to come out here with a bulldozer? A park shouldn't be multiple layers of concrete! That's the failure of this park. Let it feel like park! Let it be green!" Uhh, our thoughts exactly.
· Fence for ?peace and quiet? is met by loud hisses [Villager]
· The Designer Who Would Change the Village Eden [NYTimes]
· The Blanding of Washington Square Park: Wither the Mounds? [Curbed]