Local preservation advocacy group Landmark West is pushing the city and the Central Park Conservancy to overhaul their plans to restore the park’s Grand Army Plaza, located on Fifth Avenue between East 58th and 60th Streets. Designed as an outdoor room, in the manner of a French garden, the plaza was created in 1916 by the firm of Carrère and Hastings, architects of the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue. Over time, with alterations and loss of the original site furnishings, the once grand public space has become dilapidated, and is now in need of a complete restoration.
Landmark West contends that the proposed reconstruction by the CPC doesn’t go far enough, only restoring the space as is instead of bringing it back to its former glory. The group is calling for “a full restitution of the original site furnishings, including the custom-designed balustrades, benches, lighting, paving and pleached trees that together created a cohesive, elegant garden room in midtown Manhattan.”
The Landmarks Preservation Commission will hear public testimory on the restoration plans this week.
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