Followup: Funding for Allen/Pike Pedestrian Plazas

A particularly bleak stretch of Pike Street, near Madison Street.

Last week, we reported on Mall-terations, a temporary art installation to beautify the crumbling Allen/Pike Street pedestrian walkways and focus attention on the need for improvements.  The project was spearheaded by Hester Street Collaborative, a non-profit organization which helped lead a neighborhood visioning process to rehabilitate 13 center islands along this neglected street. In the past few months there has been some progress. But because there’s not enough money to get the whole job done, it’s been slow going.  This afternoon, we have an update from the Parks Department.

Construction crews are working on three blocks near the waterfront.

In response to an inquiry from The Lo-Down, Parks spokesman Philip Abramson reported:

  • Money has been allocated for 6 of the 13 blocks.
  • These blocks included Pike from South Street to Madison Street, plus Allen Street between Hester and Broome. Funds were also made available for an initial  Broome to Delancey “demonstration project.”
  • Construction is underway on the first three blocks (South to Madison).
  • The remainder of the project will cost $17,680,000. This money would be used to transform Madison-Hester streets (5 blocks) and Delancey to Houston (3 blocks).

The Parks Department does not have money in its capital budget to pay for the Allen Street malls. Abramson said the city is “looking at all possibilities” — federal funds, government grants, etc. – to raise the necessary funds.