Yes, the renovation of Washington Square Park is an epic shitshow, but with the makeover nearly complete, the bad blood is all in the past and Greenwich Village can move on, right? God no. That was all just Phase I stuff, which focused on the northwest quadrant of the park and the, ahem, Tisch Fountain. The renovation is actually a three-part job, and the Washington Square Park blog attended the latest Washington Square Park Task Force meeting to get the scoop on the current state of the park and what the Parks Department has planned.
Costs: The WSP blog reports that the project's budget has ballooned from $16 million to $27 million, with Phase I coming in at $14 million instead of the projected tab of $6 million. Can we expect the next two phases to see similar cost overruns? Why yes, we think we can.
Delays: Phase I was reportedly scheduled to open this month. Now it's "sometime in the new year." What is this, the High Line?
Decor: WSP notes that Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe "continues to sadly advocate for artificial turf." And those controversial "decorative spears" that were part of a design study in the park could very well be a go. Ouch, pointy!
Room to roam: WSP writes, "The public space is being dramatically reduced – and not just around the fountain which gets a 25% reduction – but around the chess tables? around the north east corner and, on the edges of the park, with the removal (currently planned but which hopefully will be reversed) of the wonderful seating alcoves currently on the north east, eastern, and southeast sides."
Those were the big headlines, and WSP is promising more analysis today with detailed info on the artificial turf and other elements. Hold you breath, Washington Square Park fans. Then again, Washington Square Park fans probably don't need to be told when to inhale.
· NYC Parks Department Presentation on Next Phases of WSP Redesign — Reportback from December 3rd Meeting (Part I of II) [WSP]
· Washington Square Park coverage [Curbed]