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Request for Support from Central Park Conservancy for an in-kind restoration project of the Conservatory Garden in Central Park

At the regularly scheduled monthly Community Board Five meeting on Thursday, May 14, 2020, the following resolution passed with a vote of 41 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, Central Park was designated a scenic landmark by the Landmark Preservation Commission in 1974, located in Manhattan and bounded by 59th Street, 110th Street, 55h Avenue and Central Park West, constructed between 1853 and 1876 by famed landscape architects Olmsted and Vaux; and

WHEREAS, The Conservatory Garden is a 6-acre formal garden in the northeastern corner of Central Park, taking its name from a conservatory that stood on the site from 1898 to 1935, and is the only formal garden in Central Park; and

WHEREAS, The Central Park Conservancy (“CPC”) has submitted a request for support for a project to reconstruct in-kind certain infrastructure elements of the Conservatory Garden including restoration of pavement, curbs and drainage, retaining walls, stairs and the pergola; and

WHEREAS, The CPC also proposes to make the French Garden on the north end of the Conservatory more accessible by replacing 3 existing 3-steps stairs and a non ADA-compliant ramp with ADA ramps and low-profile steel handrails at the four corner entrances to the French Garden that are currently not accessible; and

WHEREAS, The CPC proposes to reduce the depth of the Untermyer Foundation basin by 18 inches to bring it into compliance with current code requirements for public fountains; and

WHEREAS, The CPC proposes to replace in-kind interior bluestone where it has deteriorated in the Conservatory Garden and to replace non-original concrete pavement along the perimeter path of the Conservatory Garden with original bluestone pavement; and

WHEREAS, The CPC will refurbish and reinforce the existing steel pergola to maintain its appearance and structural integrity for the safety and enjoyment of the public; and

WHEREAS, The CPC will have to cut back the existing wisteria at the pergola during its refurbishment but will try to maintain the existing planting as much as is feasible; and

WHEREAS, The CPC intends to stage the restoration work to keep as much of the Conservatory Garden open to the public as possible while the work proceeds; and

WHEREAS, The project cost is about $10 million and has been fully funded from private sources, and is expected to start in the fall and be completed in 2 years; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five continues to encourage CPC to maintain open communication about donor attribution and recognition, as well as signage and naming rights, preferably before these matters are finalized; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five finds that the reconstruction of the Conservatory Garden as proposed by the CPC will be beneficial to the community; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of the request for support from Central Park Conservancy for an in-kind restoration project of the Conservatory Garden in Central Park.

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