Benchmark moment for renovated Bleecker sitting area
Photo by Sharon Woolums
Elected officials and local leaders recently gathered for the ribbon-cutting for the renovated Bleecker sitting area, at Bleecker and W. 11th Sts. From left, assisted by a Parks Enforcement Patrol officer, cutting the ribbon were, Bill Castro, the Manhattan borough Parks Department commissioner; David Gruber, chairperson of Community Board 2; Gail Wittwer-Laird, the project’s designer; City Council Speaker Christine Quinn; Clifford Ross, a community activist who advocated for the seating area’s renovation; Veronica White, the city’s new Parks Department commissioner; Assemblymember Deborah Glick; and state Senator Tom Duane. The sitting area was created in 1965, but had never been renovated, and its age was showing. The pavement, benches and tables were upgraded with an ellipse motif, while new gardens, flowers, shrubs and trees were planted. A light-colored quartzite pavement was used to brighten the walkway and paving areas. The project was funded through a private donation and by the City Council and cost a total of $1 million. In June, the sitting area received an award from the Greenwich Village Society of Historic Preservation for what it called an extraordinary transformation of a public space.