New Fowler Square Expands Pedestrian Space, Improves Infrastructure in Fort Greene
June 4, 2018
Brooklyn, NY - The new Fowler Square pedestrian plaza, completed last week by the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) for the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT), is calming traffic and bringing new pedestrian space to a busy part of Fort Greene, Brooklyn, along with enhanced infrastructure and new amenities such as benches, street lights, trees and planters.
The expanded Fowler Square at the corner of Fulton Street and Lafayette Avenue has introduced 4,500 square feet of new pedestrian space to the neighborhood, resulting from the closure of one block of South Elliott Place as well as the expansion of sidewalks along Lafayette Avenue. The $2 million project also added two “bumpouts” at the intersection of South Elliott and Lafayette, across the street from the new plaza, to make it easier for pedestrians to cross the street.
A diagram of the new Fowler Square shows new trees planted along a former section of South Elliott Place
“With the help of our partners at DDC, we are proud to introduce the new and permanent Fowler Square pedestrian plaza, a space — only blocks away from great bookstores, coffee shops, restaurants and cultural institutions like BAM – that completely captures the vitality of Fort Greene,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “It is now hard to remember, but only a few years ago, vehicles moved along South Elliott Place through this space, now transformed by trees, benches and a water fountain. Fowler Square is one of the best examples of how plazas can unite communities, with year-round gatherers in an enlarged park that perfectly illustrates the success of the plaza model. Again, we would like to thank DDC for this beautiful new public space.”
“DDC has worked with DOT on pedestrian plazas across the City, and in every location they enhance the neighborhood, make the streets safer and give people more room to enjoy their surroundings,” said DDC Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio. “The new Fowler Square will prove to be a great improvement for the community.”
The 1902 Fowler statue at the center of the expanded Fowler Square
Included in the project are seven new trees, 6,000 square feet of new granite pavers, granite curbs, plus new light poles, streetlights and pedestrian signals. The statue of General Edward Fowler, which was dedicated at the site in 1902, has been repositioned 24 feet to the east so it remains in the center of the space, and now has a new concrete base with plantings surrounded by a circular granite seating area. The square also has a new water fountain, five new planters, plus six new metal benches, 75 new chairs and 25 new tables.
Underground, 800 feet of old 8- and 12-inch water mains have been replaced. Sixty feet of new storm sewers have been added to the site, along with five new catch basins to capture stormwater and reduce flooding.
Local residents who followed the progress of construction have taken notice of the change.
Mr. Michael Gaynor aka 'Mr. Fort Greene'
“I’ve lived near here for 35 years and this is great,” said Michael Gaynor, who also goes by the moniker Mr. Fort Greene. “Everyone loves it. Kids are here every day after school having a great time. They’re doing something great for the people and helping to pick up this part of Fort Greene. I wish they would build more projects like this.”
The contractor for the project is Verdugos General Contractors Corp. of Liberty Avenue in Brooklyn, a NYC-certified M/WBE firm.
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 long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $13 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.