Volume 17 • Issue 27 | Dec. 03 - Dec. 09, 2004



Over $100,000 for Canal Park

Now that the triangular area between Canal Street and West Side Highway is well on its way to becoming a park, community members who fought for its revival have a new mission: to raise money for its maintenance.

“The Parks Department, as always, has a deficit in maintenance funds,” said Richard Barrett, president of the Canal Park Conservancy, a community-based non-profit organization formed to “care for, maintain and enhance” the park.

“Our goal is to set up an endowment fund, so that with the interest that’s generated, we can hire a part-time gardener to maintain the park,” Barrett said.

The Parks Department has allocated an annual budget of $15,000 for Canal Park, and the Conservancy, through a fundraising campaign, has already collected $50,000, with an additional $100,000 in pledges. The National Architectural Trust recently donated $25,000 to the endowment fund, payable over two years.

Canal Park, which is funded by the New York State Department of Transportation, is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2005. Parks Department landscape architect Allan Scholl designed it, at a construction cost of $2.5 million, emulating the work of Calvert Vaux and Samuel Parsons, renowned 19th century landscapers associated with the original 1888 design of the park.

“It’s a great design, and it’s very fulfilling to see the realization of the park after so many years. It’s an updated version of the Vaux design – in fact, it’s even better,” Barrett said.

He was one of the leaders of Canal West Coalition, which discovered the park had been illegally taken over in 1921 to build the Holland Tunnel.

–Divya Watal



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