Parks Department planners have been working on designs for a new and improved Luther Gulick Park — now they’ve got a bit more money to get the job done. This week, neighborhood activists learned City Councilwoman Margaret Chin has allocated an additional $400,000 (on top of $550,000 her office already earmarked for the project). Manhattan Borough President has kicked in $250,000 (last year he allocated $500,000).
All together, the Friends of Gulick Park have now raised $2,150,000 to give one of the neighborhood’s most neglected spaces a face lift. Right now, city planners are working on a design for the western half of the park (pictured). City officials have said they’ll need more money to revamp the opposite end of the park, where a playground is now the main feature. There are high hopes that the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. will come forward soon with grant money to make a complete refurbishment of Luther Gulick possible.
In a statement released today, Chin said:
Gulick Park and playground are so important to the Lower East Side community. It is paramount that we preserve and enhance open public space in this neighborhood. When I look at Gulick Park, I see the surrounding public housing, senior centers, and children and families who depend on this space to engage with their community and enjoy the outdoors.
In the past year, the Friends of Gulick Park has held a number of public visioning sessions. Park designers have said they would incorporate many of the community’s suggestions into their preliminary blueprints. The draft design will be presented to Community Board 3 in the next several months. Construction could begin as early as next summer.