Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Celebrating 200 Years of Life on the Grid

Preservation largely documents the history of our built environment and cultural heritage.  But who documents the history of preservation itself?  That'd be the New York Preservation Archive Project (NYPAP)! 

For over a decade, NYPAP, under the leadership of Anthony C. Wood, has carefully kept tabs on the historic preservation movement in New York City -- the movers and shakers whose activism and and decision-making has shaped the City's Landmarks Law, the projects and legal cases that have defined the fight to preserve New York's historic resources.

One such hero of preservation celebrated by NYPAP is Andrew H. Green (more on him below!).  And this Saturday, November 12th,
we (that means you!) are all invited to join the office of Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer to honor his contributions to the City.

The Andrew Haswell Green Bench in Central Park, via Wikipedia.


Join Manhattan Borough Historian Michael Miscione as we raise a toast of non-alcoholic cider to the memory of Andrew H. Green. Though Green’s name is unfamiliar to most New Yorkers his legacy is everywhere: Central Park, Riverside Park, and Morningside Park; the American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the New York Public Library; and indeed, the very five-borough city that exists today. Green, who is sometimes described as a 19th-century Robert Moses, was a pioneering city planner and preservationist, and the driving force behind the movement to consolidate the municipalities around New York Harbor into a single metropolis.

In honor of the 200th anniversary of the Manhattan street grid plan, this year’s ceremony will focus on Green’s substantial modifications to that plan’s original design.

Saturday, November 12th
Andrew H. Green Memorial Bench, inside Central Park 
(see below for a map and directions)
FREE and open to the general public

The Green Memorial Bench is located inside Central Park at about 105th Street. It is extremely difficult to find and is not marked on most park maps. For a printable/downloadable map with detailed directions click here.  

From the East Side: At Fifth Avenue and E. 102 Street, enter the park via the pedestrian entrance. Make your way onto the main auto drive. Walk north on the drive for about two blocks. When you come to the standing three-sided map on your left (the composting operation will be on your right), turn left on to the wide, well-paved crossover road that heads to the West Side. Take an immediate right onto the blacktop footpath that heads uphill. Bear right as you walk along the footpath. The bench is at the top of the hill.

From the West Side: At Central Park West and W. 100 Street, enter the park via the automobile entrance road. Bear left, merging on to the main drive. Continue walking north on the drive for about two blocks. Before the drive crosses a stone bridge, turn right onto the wide, well-paved crossover road that heads to the East Side. This road will be marked with an "Authorized Vehicles Only" sign. Continue down this road, passing a little police kiosk on your right. Just before the road intersects with the main east drive, turn left onto the blacktop footpath that heads uphill. Bear right as you walk along the footpath. The bench is at the top of the hill.

Note: There is a lot of construction taking place at the north end of the park right now which might make some of these directions unworkable. Be prepared to improvise!

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