CB3 Full Board Backs Restoration of Historic East River Park Buildings

Posted on: November 2nd, 2020 at 5:00 am by

Track House restoration, Photo: Davies Toews Architects

The proposal to protect endangered structures in East River Park ahead of the controversial resiliency project gained a significant boost last week.

The entirety of Community Board 3 supported the plan, raised by the Lower East Side Preservation Initiative, which would restore the 72-year-old Art Deco Track House and Tennis Center Comfort Station. The resolution calls for amending the $1.45 billion East Side Coastal Resiliency Project to safeguard the buildings instead of demolition and replacement with standardized modern Parks structures.

And to adhere to the grassroots pitch – to lift the buildings on stilts as would be necessary to raise the park eight to ten feet. Then the structures would receive a facelift.

In 1939, Photo: NYC Parks

Both buildings were recently deemed eligible for the State and National Registers of Historic Places by the New York State Historic Preservation Office for their historical significance. Each was constructed (and completed) in 1938, and ready for the park opening one year later.

Whether the proposal gains traction with the city, though, is another story altogether.

The resiliency project itself will take a minimum of five years to complete, and is intended to strengthen the coastline between Montgomery and 25th Streets. It’ll be implemented on a two-phase schedule. So, rather than closing the entire park, area residents will have access to roughly half the park. Work was initially slated to begin this fall, but is now delayed until next spring. As reported, the new target is for procurement to last through the fall, with site preparation beginning springtime and construction following in summer 2021.

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