Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The PARC Park Continues

Back in 2005, the PARC Foundation (the acronym stands for Planning + Art Resources for Communities) had an elaborate vision for revitalizing the Second and Fourth wards. The foundation conducted a series of workshops to learn about the community's needs and desires and engaged the services of San Diego architect Teddy Cruz to translate that information into structures. The result was the Hudson 2 + 4 Project, a proposal so innovative that it got the attention of the New York Times, but it made many residents and fans of Hudson's historic architecture and character a little uneasy.   
For a variety of reasons, the PARC Foundation abandoned the Hudson 2 + 4 Project, but one element of the grander plan survived: a linear park extending from Warren Street to State Street, which provided a green connector from Hudson's northernmost west-east street to its main street. The first element of the linear park--the park across from the Hudson Opera House, extending from Warren Street to Prison Alley--was completed and officially opened in the summer of 2007. 

In August 2010, Megan Wurth of the PARC Foundation presented initial plans for the completion of the park and gathered feedback from the community. Last night at the Common Council meeting, Wurth was back with architect Fred Tang to present the final plans for the park, which involve ramps and stairs, greenery and seating, and another fountain like the one in the original park. Wurth graciously provided Gossips with the renderings of the linear park that were presented to the Council last night.  

It is anticipated that the construction drawings for the park will be ready in July and work on creating the park will proceed from there.   


  1. Oh man, we really need some green releif from these parking lots. I hope that this happens.This is a of sea of cement over here.
    The kids really need this,everyone does.This is great.

  2. I question the success of phase one of the Parc Foundation's park.
    To wit: it had a sprinkler system installed, but most of the sprinkler heads have been stolen. Nothing happens in the park, except for some outdoor summer movies put on by TSL (and bravo! keep doing that!). The concrete benches and tables go unused. This slipper park has a vague, disconnected and desultory air about it. There is nothing for a kid to do there, except be completely bored.

    The state of Hudson's park spaces are pretty sad: take a look at the 7th street park, Promenade Hill and the square in front of the court house. These spaces could be so wonderful, if they were made to be more inviting. They are all just sort of ramshackle afterthoughts one would expect to find in any blue-collar factory town back in the 1970s.

    Inspirations: Bryant Park and Central Park in NYC; the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris; Lincoln Park in Chicago; the Squares of Savannah; the de la Fontaine gardens in Nimes. It would be nice if the Parc Foundation and the GalVan Initiatives Foundation could fund, team up to fund, or provide seed money to Hudson to improve what we already have. A chained in gazebo that sports a sign "Don't Write" on it, clunky benches, a limp fountain, asphalt paths and lots and lots of dandelions are examples of items for improvement.

  3. Recall the time that the internationally renowned "water sculptor" Herbert Dreiseitl was invited to Hudson for his input on the waterfront program.

    Bringing him here was a great coup, but nothing came of it simply because the wrong kinds of citizens took an interest.

    The folks at TSL continue to show us that they are the "right" sorts, just as they demonstrated after Dreiseitl's visit and on waterfront issues generally.

    All of which continue to speak volumes about this place.

  4. Let me put it another way. In the City of Hudson by the time that most plans - such as these PARC Foundation plans - have surfaced for their fake public comment periods, certain favored citizens have long since weighed in or even secretly contributed to them.

    Outcomes in Hudson are generally decided before the people who are meant to pay for such projects have had a chance to comment. As with last year's school budget vote (and lots of people didn't bother voting this year), so with the public input on the dishonest waterfront program; the goals of those who are first among equals will always prevail here. Meanwhile the remainder of the public is reduced to the status of a raw material.

    I understand now that this will never change in Hudson. Fortunately we are still free enough to continue fooling ourselves that the situation is otherwise, and that Hudson is not a fundamentally vicious place.

  5. Unheimlich, the PARC Foundation design was derived through multiple public charrettes, if anything, this plan has been nothing but available for public input & comment.

    I applaud the PARC Foundation for their commitment to Architecture as well as their interminable moxie. I for one would give away the farm to see the Teddy Cruz 2+4 project built.

  6. Hey Dave, I'll have to take your word for it and I will.

    It was only a few weeks ago that we saw another new plan revealed for the alternative state truck route around the 7th Street park. Aldermen from effected wards were not invited to the meeting where the plan was innocently unveiled, yet there's been little comment on that ploy and subsequently there will be no accountability for it. (FECKLESS public!)

    That plan also involved the usual suspects, and I have no doubt that the same individuals have attempted to meddle with or pressure the PARC Foundation behind our backs. I have the proof of their characters only, but that is enough for me.

    After my front-row seat at the cynical manipulation of the LWRP public comment process (which was required by law and which involved the same players), this place has made me very hard-boiled.

    I will never tire of exposing these peoples' bad faith, but I will trust that the PARC Foundation was and is able to repel their next machinations, whatever they are.