For many New Yorkers, Van Cortlandt Park might seem like a bit of a non-starter. What it lacks in prominence, though, it partly makes up for in history. More than just marking the northern end of the 1 train, its trails are intimately familiar to city cross-country teams, part of the Croton Aqueduct is its most notable feature, and hey, it's actually the city's fourth-largest park. There will be other draws, too, presuming the 20-year master plan unveiled this week by parks department urban designer Charles McKinney, pictured above, comes to fruition. The Riverdale Press reports that when McKinney presented his design to Community Board 8, he explained that it stemmed from a year of meetings with neighbors.
McKinney's proposed changes, detailed in the map above, include building a new playground near North Riverdale, constructing three pedestrian bridges over highways a la the ones in Central Park, and removing Tibbetts Brook from the sewage system and placing it aboveground so that it becomes a pleasant water feature. Trails for running and walking will remain, of course, but the design calls for more access for bikes and pedestrians in general. More details about the plan can be found here.
Don't feel bad if you didn't know this stuff. Van Cortlandt Park?or shall we call it "Vannie"??has been forgotten by many city denizens for quite some time: "The master plan would be the first endeavor of its kind since the city purchased the Van Cortlandt estate in 1888." About time, then, in our book.
· City outlines first-ever master plan for Vannie [Riverdale Press via New Yorkers For Parks]