For hundreds of Battery Park City families, the reconstruction in lower Manhattan will soon mean the loss of a tranquil, tree-lined refuge where children have played on tire swings in the shade for over 20 years, according to the New York Post.
State highway officials plan to bulldoze the playground -- affectionately known as Tire Swing Park --in an effort to rebuild West Street and to extend a pedestrian promenade, part of a master plan developed after 9/11 by then-Gov. George Pataki.
The project is set to begin Oct. 13 and should be done by May 2010.
While the state is promising to replace the park, parents don't like losing 28 fully grown trees and the rustic wooden playground they've enjoyed for a generation.
"What we'll get when they're done is a playground of plastic, metal and industrial materials for our kids to play on," said Matthew Fenton, a parent and a member of a group fighting to block the park project.
The group collected petitions with 500 signatures to save the site, formally West Thames Park, which includes a playground, garden and a small field on the eastern edge of Battery Park City, just south of the World Trade Center.
To the south of the park, a promenade built after 9/11 runs to Battery Park. State officials want to extend the promenade north, right through the playground.
On sunny afternoon last week, Tire Swing Park was packed with parents and kids, while the promenade to the south -- dubbed Pataki-stan by residents -- had only an occasional pedestrian.