DOT: Lolita Avila, 212-839-4850
DDC: Shoshana Khan, 718-391-1251, KhanSho@ddc.nyc.gov
(New York, NY – May 27, 2021) The NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) and NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) joined Friends of Bogardus Plaza President Victoria Weil, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senator Brian Kavanagh, Council Member Margaret S. Chin’s office and Manhattan Community Board 1 Chair Tammy Meltzer to officially open the newly redesigned Bogardus Plaza in Tribeca. The Plaza, which was created as part of a $7.4 million capital project received funding from DOT, elected officials and private donors and was managed by DDC.
“Over the past difficult year, New Yorkers have learned the precious value of our shared open spaces, which makes today’s official opening of Bogardus Plaza so especially well-timed,” said NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Hank Gutman. “As our City and this neighborhood recovers, the extra pedestrian space and beautiful setting will offer neighbors and visitors alike a welcome respite between two bustling Tribeca streets. We would like to thank our partners at DDC for overseeing the creation of a more beautiful community space — and offer a special salute to the Friends of Bogardus Plaza, the non-profit organization that has been dedicated to the transformation.”
“High-quality public spaces are vital to our city’s recovery, and the new Bogardus Plaza is a beautiful and enhanced streetscape heavily used by commuters, tourists and residents,” said NYC Department of Design and Construction Commissioner Jamie Torres-Springer. “The design brings new amenities to the area while allowing for easy pedestrian movement through broad and attractive spaces, and provides a setting for future events and performances.”
“After a decade of building community trust, fundraising and planning, the Friends of Bogardus Plaza is thrilled to be the steward of the newly renovated Bogardus Plaza,” said Friends of Bogardus Plaza President Victoria Weil. “We are thankful for the thoughtful design provided by Mathews Nielson Landscape Architects and are grateful for the support of DOT, DDC, Council Member Margaret S. Chin, Comptroller Scott Stringer, and of course our local businesses and neighbors. We appreciate the graciousness of the residents of Tribeca over the years of construction and we look forward to activating this urban oasis with community centered events year-round.”
“I'm glad to help cut the ribbon for the renovation of Bogardus Plaza, a pleasant and needed spot to eat lunch outdoors, read a book, relax, and to welcome employees and office workers back to the area as the City reopens,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Thank you to DDC Commissioner Jamie Torres-Springer, DOT Commissioner Henry Gutman, DOT Manhattan Borough Commissioner Ed Pincar and the Friends of Bogardus Plaza for this wonderful transformation.”
“I applaud the NYC Department of Transportation, the NYC Department of Design and Construction, and Friends of Bogardus Plaza for their efforts in developing this thoughtfully crafted, beautifully designed, aesthetically pleasing public plaza,” said State Senator Brian Kavanagh. “I am especially pleased that the residents of this community, who had to endure years of construction, now have access to this spacious, artistic and beautifully furnished pedestrian oasis — complete with new trees and plantings, and a monumental clock, donated by Friends of Bogardus Plaza. I personally look forward to frequenting this dynamic public space. Projects like this serve as a great sign that we are on our way to recovery in New York.”
“When I met the members of the Friends of Bogardus Plaza during my first my first term as Council Member, their vision for renovations started with purchasing and installing a new clock, and now, more than ten years later, the sum of their beautification efforts has amounted to a brand new plaza,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “I’m so happy to participate in today’s ribbon cutting, and I commend DDC and DOT for all the work that has gone into transforming this beautiful open space. Details of the architectural design including the granite eggs reflect the history of Tribeca in the 1870s, when local merchants created the Butter and Egg Exchange at 2-6 Harrison Street. Congratulations to the Friends of Bogardus Plaza, I look forward to visiting again in the future!”
“I congratulate the Friends of Bogardus Plaza and thank them for their many years of work with the NYC Department of Design and Construction and NYC Department of Transportation to make this space a permanent pedestrian plaza,” said Assembly Member Deborah J. Glick. “Public open space where New Yorkers can seek respite and enjoy a sense of community outdoors is more essential than ever, and is especially sought after in the densely crowded streets of Lower Manhattan.”
“Construction to our City’s infrastructure is never easy, but the reconstruction of Bogardus Plaza is a testament to the power of good design, great communication, and gorgeous results that made it all worthwhile,” said Manhattan Community Board 1 Chair Tammy Meltzer. “We are thrilled to enjoy this beautiful space and hope the NYC Department of Design and Construction replicates this model to public works everywhere.”
“It has been a pleasure to work with the Friends of Bogardus Plaza to spearhead the transformation of a gateway to Tribeca,” said MNLA Landscape Architect Signe Nielsen. “By merging a fenced off garden and underutilized roadway, this project exemplifies the City’s initiative to rebalance the pedestrian realm and create much needed public space for neighbors and visitors.”
The area was once known as Bogardus Garden and was named after James Bogardus, a renowned 19th-century pioneer of cast-iron architecture. The area on Hudson Street between Chambers Street and Reade Street was transformed by DOT into a temporary plaza in 2010, and when Community Board 1 voted to make the plaza a permanent part of the community, the non-profit organization Friends of Bogardus Plaza worked with the City on a design concept to increase community engagement.
The project redesigned the 18,000-square-foot plaza and made permanent the closing of Hudson Street between Chambers Street and Reade Street. The Plaza features an elevated platform with over 800 square feet of recycled plastic lumber, 13 granite egg shaped seats with anti-graffiti coating, 80 chairs, 22 tables, 55 feet of benches and new trash and recycling cans. Six new light poles were installed and two light poles were replaced throughout the interior and exterior of the Plaza.
New plantings in the Plaza feature more than 800 bulbs, 700 perennials and ground cover, 600 ferns and grasses and 200 shrubs. Four trees were replaced and five new trees were installed. The garden area of the Plaza is separated into five gated green areas, which are watered through an automatic irrigation system. The new plantings were selected to reduce stormwater runoff, filter the air and reduce heat during the warmer months.
A new 1,500-pound cast iron clock, a gift to the City by the Friends of Bogardus Plaza, was installed at the intersection of Chambers Street and West Broadway. The 17-foot clock was built for a jeweler in Michigan in 1910 and was restored by Hugh Sinclair from Ontario, Canada. Antique Clock Restoration of Rhode Island retrieved the clock from Canada and managed the delivery and installation. The City's Clock Master Marvin Schneider will maintain the clock.
The Friends of Bogardus Plaza will handle the daily operation of the clock along with the maintenance of the Plaza including its daily set up and break down, cleaning and trash removal three times a day, seasonal plantings and garden care.
Funding for the project was provided by DOT, former Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer, Council Member Margaret Chin, and 46 private donors. The project began in October 2017 and construction was completed in December 2020.
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 $15.5 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.
About the NYC Department of Transportation
NYC DOT's mission is to provide for the safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible movement of people and goods, and to maintain and enhance the transportation infrastructure crucial to the economic vitality and quality of life of New York City residents. More than 5,000 DOT employees oversee one of the most complex urban transportation networks in the world, managing 6,000 miles of streets and highways, 12,000 miles of sidewalk, and 794 bridges and tunnels, including the iconic East River bridges. Our staff also installs and maintains more than one million street signs, 12,000 signalized intersections, 315,000 street lights, and 200 million linear feet of street markings. DOT promotes the use of sustainable modes of transportation, designing bicycle facilities, bus lanes, and public plazas. DOT also operates the Staten Island Ferry, which serves over 22 million people annually.