For years Turtle Bay residents, Community Board 6 and elected officials have fought to save Robert Moses Playground, a tiny asphalt lot located on 1st Ave. between 41/42nd street from being taken over by the UN. Compounding the issue is that the area has one of the least amounts of open space of any community in NYC. The mayor needs the support of the state legislature to alienate the park if he is to succeed in using this property for this non-park purpose. Things got so desperate a few years back that the mayor even dispatched his sister up to Albany to lobby. But no deal. The NY Post is reporting that he has attempted to reopen negotiations with electeds. Will someone also please inform the mayor, and his controlled agencies like City Planning and EDC and Design Commission that esplanades are not parks.
Sources tell A Walk In The Park that for years the UN has done their best to block a NYC Greenway waterfront connection from passing in front of their property due to "security concerns. However these concerns would magically disappear if they got the Robert Moses Playground site. The waterfront North of 37th Street to 60th St. has zero access along the river's edge. This comes after our elected officials recently wasted $ 60 million dollars by allowing a 3000 feet "temporary" outboard detour roadway built along the FDR to be taken down in 2007. The roadway provided a wonderful opportunity for at least partial access to this long neglected area. This project is exactly the type of wasteful and poor planning this city doesn't not need.
Mayor Steps Up Pressure for U.N. Tower
NY Sun- April 12, 2007
At a Longstanding Playground, Yet Another Plan to End the Games
NY Times - April 1, 2007
Japanese Architect Wins U.N. Competition
NY Times February 14, 2004