I don't know anyone who likes the street furniture proposed by Arterial for the Hudson Connects project, and people have not been shy about sharing their opinion that it looks like something worthy of a suburban shopping mall somewhere in the Sun Belt, but the design keeps coming back.
This morning, James Ribaudo of Arterial made a long-awaited presentation to the Historic Preservation Commission. Regarding street furniture, Ribaudo told the HPC that they were accepting a suggestion that the Central Park style benches being used in the new Promenade Hill plaza be continued as street furniture and indicated that these benches would be used at locations along Front Street.
Ribaudo defended the choice of benches by saying they wanted the flexibility of having some benches with backs, some benches without backs, and smaller seats for just one person. He argued that durability was an important consideration.
Of the benches, HPC member John Schobel commented, "I get that they have to be durable, but is this the only choice?" After some discussion, during which it was suggested that the backless bench, the "stool," and the bench with a back did not have to match, it was decided that Ribaudo would work "offline" with members of the HPC on the design of the benches.
Gossips humbly suggests that they take a look at the benches in Henry Hudson Riverfront Park. For flexibility, there's a version with a back and one without. For durability, the benches have been there for close to twenty years now, and to my knowledge, only one of them has ever needed to be repaired, and the great thing was that it could be repaired.
Street furniture aside, the designs Ribaudo presented to the HPC this morning were evidence that Arterial had responded to public comment and incorporated a lot of feedback into their revisions. What's being proposed now is significantly simplified from what was originally presented. Ribaudo spoke of a "ground plane that supports the historic fabric," borrowing the palette of materials from the Promenade Hill plaza restoration, and using simple materials but high quality materials.
He explained that on Allen, Union, and Columbia streets below Second, new sidewalk would only be infill sidewalk, where no sidewalks now exist or where sidewalks are in very bad shape. Landmarks Gray concrete is currently designated only for Warren Street, but since the residential neighborhood south of Warren Street is a locally designated historic district, Landmarks Gray concrete should probably be used there too instead of the lighter colored standard concrete now designated in the plan.
The focus of the project has narrowed to intersections. Ribaudo showed this image for the typical intersection off Warren Street in the BRIDGE District.
Warren and Second
Schobel objected to the boulders at the entrance to the Promenade Hill plaza. Ribaudo explained that this was part of bringing elements from the park into the street design. Schobel objected, "This isn't the park. This is the street. Why the boulders?" He asked to see an example of boulders used in an urban environment.
converted into bike racks.
There won't be redundancy. There are no parking meters below Third Street, so there are none in the BRIDGE District.
COPYRIGHT 2022 CAROLE OSTERINK