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Meeting Tonight on Future of Luther Gulick Park

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Representatives of the Parks Department and Community Board 3 will meet with Lower East Side residents tonight to discuss plans for refurbishing Luther Gulick Park/Playground. The park borders Delancey, Willett, Columbia and Broome Streets. Over the years, there have been various complaints about noise and dangerous conditions in the park. As a result, the 7th Precinct requested the removal of certain equipment, like the built in chess tables that used to be there. Some people in nearby buildings have called for the removal of barbeque grills in Luther Gulick, saying the smoke wafts up to their apartments and poses a danger to small children on the playground.

The park was originally named for State Senator Bernard Downing in 1933. But in 1985 it was renamed in honor of educator and community leader Luther Gulick (see Google map above; maybe they didn't get the memo. You can zoom in for a closer view). It's also sometimes called Sheriff Park. The city's Parks & Recreation web site says this about Luther Gulick:

"…the park has
benefited from extensive renovations in recent years. In 1999, nearly
$200,000 was allotted to a reconstruction effort that provided new
asphalt pavement, modular play equipment, a sprinkler system, and a
roller-skating area. Yet older attractions remain: visitors can still
sit in the shade of the pin oak and London Plane trees, or, with the
park’s first namesake in mind, play a game of basketball."

Residents might take issue of this characterization. Many people feel the park is in serious disrepair and in need of a facelift. The meeting takes place at 7pm near the handball courts. No decisions are expected tonight. This is an opportunity for people in the community to offer their ideas for the park's future.

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