Tomorrow evening, the Design Trust for Public Space will be announcing the next projects it will be supporting. One of five finalists of this year’s call for project ideas – Public for All: Rethinking Shared Space in NYC – is located within Sara D. Roosevelt Park. Here’s the pitch:
Title: Return of the Stanton Building
Proposer: The Stanton Task Force including Green Map System, Sara Roosevelt Park Community Coalition, and University Settlement
The Stanton Building of Sara Roosevelt Park in the Lower East Side of Manhattan was one of the many NYC Park Houses (40 in Manhattan alone), which were community centers until the 1970s, when the City almost went bankrupt and could no longer maintain them. Today the Stanton Building is used as storage for the NYC Parks. This project would redesign the Stanton Building as a multi-use community hub assisting homeless people, serving as a climate emergency education and response center, or a flexible meeting space for a myriad of neighborhood needs, while envisioning a citywide model for reclaiming underutilized public space.
“Planning for the future use of the Stanton Street Park Building will allow the community to play an active role in the building’s design and future use and maximize public space while integrating community members who often do not see the interconnectedness of their lives. Designing the Stanton Street building to serve as a resource for our homeless neighbors, while also providing programming to the larger community, can serve as a future model for how to use public space to foster greater community integration and understanding,” said Laura Timme, Associate Executive Director, University Settlement.
Neighborhood activists have been battling for years to return the building to public use. While elected officials have allocated money for the renovation project, the city’s Parks Department has insisted that the building is needed for maintenance storage.
The Design Trust for Public Space will choose one or two projects from the five finalists. We’ll let you know what happens tomorrow evening.