September 26, 2017
Washington Heights, NY – NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Deputy Commissioner Eric Macfarlane, NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) Manhattan Borough Deputy Commissioner Ed Pincar and Yeshiva University President Dr. Ari Berman joined to officially cut the ribbon on the new 10,000-square-foot pedestrian plaza on West 185th Street between Audubon and Amsterdam avenues in Washington Heights. The $3.6 million project provides a pedestrian-friendly and inviting central location for the community and the school, while improving infrastructure in the area.
Located in the heart of the Yeshiva University campus, the street was converted into a streetscape plaza and features a series of small- and medium-sized gathering spaces with new features such as wood and granite seating, moveable tables and chairs, bicycle racks and ornamental street lighting. The new plaza will also be planted with various trees, perennials and ferns, as weather permits. The project also included the installation of new curbs, sidewalks, decorative pavers and utilities including water mains and gas lines.
The project also included streetscape improvements on Amsterdam Avenue from West 184th to West 186th streets, with new traffic delineators, a new surface and pavement markings and a bike lane.
“DDC is proud to cut the ribbon on this plaza with DOT and Yeshiva University, in support of the Mayor’s vision for an equitable and resilient City,” said DDC Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio. “This renovated plaza will provide a safe space for the students at Yeshiva University, and upgrades the infrastructure and local water service.”
“We are proud to officially open this space for Washington Heights residents and students of Yeshiva University to enjoy,” said Edward Pincar, Manhattan Deputy Borough Commissioner, New York City Department of Transportation. “With greenery, movable furniture and a wide swath of space along 185th Street, we hope everyone benefits from the plaza for years to come.”
“The new 185th street plaza is a beautiful addition to our uptown campus,” said Yeshiva University President, Dr. Ari Berman. “The renovations create a great recreational space for the Washington Heights community and opens up new opportunities for students from across the university to connect with each other in a casual environment outside the classroom.”
"The newly renovated 185th Street Pedestrian Plaza adds to the charm of our neighborhoods, and improves the safety of pedestrian and bikers from Yeshiva University and the broader community. Uptown is where many cultures converge. This project demonstrates that when we all work together, we make a stronger community for all," said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. "I want to thank Yeshiva University, NYC DDC, NYC DOT, and the many more for contributing to brighter open spaces in the city."
“I commend President Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman and Yeshiva University on today’s announcement to open the newly finished 185th Street Plaza at the university,” said Congressman Adriano Espaillat. “Educational opportunity, intellectual and spiritual teachings rooted in Jewish tradition help further promote our togetherness and unity. The 20,000 square-foot plaza is open to everyone and celebrates the diversity of the campus as well as the surrounding community.”
"New Yorkers prize their unique ability to traverse their city on foot and by using public transportation. This project, which takes space for cars and reserves it for people, will build up the Yeshiva University community as well as the surrounding community by providing a space for everyone to relax outside, chat and meet each other,” said New York State Senator Marisol Alcantara. “Projects like this will also help New Yorkers avoid the deadly effects of vehicle accidents, respiratory problems from exhaust, and other environmental hazards caused by excessive use of automobiles."
"Today, Yeshiva University inaugurates its new pedestrian plaza right off their campus in Washington Heights; which will definitely serve as a desired spot for students and pedestrians to convene for different purposes and ease the day by connecting directly with Mother Nature. Pedestrians have always flocked the streets of New York City. As fast as the City is, it is always comforting to know there are places to take a breather or to just break and relax while enjoying the view during a nice sunshine. It is an honor to see this project come to fruition as it will serve pedestrians a great deal," said Assemblywoman Carmen De La Rosa.
DDC’s general contractor for the project was Triumph Construction Corporation. The design consultant was Dewberry, and REI services were provided by EnTech Engineering, P.C.
About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s lenses of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, new or upgraded roadways, sewers, water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative, and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to city projects. For more information, please visit nyc.gov/ddc.