Tavern on the Green Parking Lot to be Transformed Into…Something

By Alex Israel

The parking lot attached to Tavern on the Green will soon be transformed into some other more park-like purpose, according to the Central Park Conservancy. It’s still not clear what exactly that means, but a conservancy rep spoke to the Community Board 7 Parks & Environment Committee this week about the general outline.

The conservancy will add the lot to its $300 million program of work, which includes a number of other projects to be completed over the next 10 years, said Lane Addonizio, Associate VP for Planning at the CPC.

While there is “no specific plan or design at this point,” for the parking lot space, according to Addonizio, the organization has “an ideal schedule” that avoids disruption and “will involve outreach” to the local community. She estimates they are about a year out from formal planning.

CPC Chief Operating Officer & Chief Landscape Architect Chris Nolan warned that they “have to figure out what the project is” before providing an estimate on the cost or the timeline, but that they want to avoid overspending on a temporary solution.

Community Board 7’s Parks & Environment Committee Chairperson Klari Neuwelt hopes to push the project to the top of the Central Park Conservancy’s priority list, looking for input on how “to make it green, to make it park-like, to make it look better.”

These are some of the offhand, cost-effective options discussed for the interim while they decide on what the final project will entail:

—A spray paint job over the pavement that transforms it into hopscotch/other similar playground games
—Partner with a local bike group/store to teach kids how to ride their bikes there
—Provide chalk for kids to use themselves to draw in the area

Addonizio and Nolan will plan to return to the Parks & Environment Committee by January 2018 to present a more concrete timeline for the long-term project, as well as potential ideas for what to do in the interim.

In the meantime, the committee proposed an official resolution, recommending that the Central Park Conservancy establish the parking lot for park-like uses and programming temporarily and permanently.

The resolution will be voted on during the next Full Board Meeting on November 8, 2017.

NEWS, OUTDOORS | 8 comments | permalink
    1. UWS_lifer says:

      I was over there today and saw the construction in action. I talked to one of the workers and he told me that it is going to be one of those bounce-house things that they have at kid’s parties. I’m not sure what they are called.

      Anyway, it seems like a waste of money to me but oh well. Apparently some politician is related to a very powerful guy in the bounce-house industry and the rest is history. Follow the money, as they say. Where are the NIMBYs on this one?

      • West Sider says:

        They are setting up something now that’s temporary for the marathon weekend. That’s not connected to this project.

        • UWS_lifer says:

          Yeah, I was just kidding. It looks like that whole area is getting ready for the marathon.

          I forgot that it was that time of the year. Great time to take a jog around the park. After the set up but before the race. Gotta love NYC in the Fall.

          Not sure the date of the race but it has to be soon…we set the clocks back around the same time I think.

    2. ws says:

      Every year that space is used by the marathon organizers as a site for an enormous multistory temporary building that houses – I think – NYRRC offices and the press. It is going up again right now.

    3. L says:

      I like the idea of keeping it a play space.

      My daughter learned to ride a bike there and I remember
      When it was the grand restaurant of its day.

    4. JA, UWS says:

      I am surprised to hear that the Conservancy would countenance a bouncy house as even a temporary amenity in Central Park. They require constant supervision by an attendant and have a high potential for injury. The city would be foolish to incur such liability. I hope the workers were pulling your leg; personally, I find bouncy houses to be as tacky as the carousel is charming. That said, almost anything is better than a parking lot in disrepair.

    5. Drew Nawn says:

      there is a playground across the drive. How about Paddle Tennis courts in the winter and Pickleball in the summer?

      • Josh says:

        Somehow I doubt many people here even know what pickleball is. But I think it would be a great idea. How many places around are there for smaller scale tennis games? And shouldn’t be too much upkeep cost.