Volume 16 • Issue 47 | April 16-22, 2004

Liberty at James Madison

Residents are set to celebrate the reopening of James Madison Park on Friday, April 16, after their successful legal challenge to remove N.Y.P.D. vehicles from the park behind police headquarters.

As of Thursday evening, all cars had been removed from the triangular open space bordered by St. James Pl., Madison St. and Pearl St., according to Paul Lee, one of the community activists involved in the efforts to clear the area.

“I’m absolutely thrilled,” Lee said. “I can’t believe how nice the trees look.”

Lee said he planned to celebrate by reclining in a lawn chair at the park on Friday, April 16 at 2 p.m., during the community reopening.

In his ruling, New York State Supreme Court Judge Walter Tolub said he would drive by the area to make sure that all vehicles had been cleared and if they hadn’t, he wanted to see both parties back in court.

The effort to clear James Madison Park is part of an overall community push to reopen Park Row, a major opening connecting Chinatown to the rest of Lower Manhattan that has been closed for security reasons since the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. That matter is still pending before Judge Tolub.

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