New children’s dragon playground is roaring good fun

Photos by Tequila Minsky As University Plaza preschoolers looked on, state Senator Brad Hoylman greeted his daughter, Silvia, as she zipped down the dragon play slide’s tongue in Adrienne’s Garden.

Photos by Tequila Minsky
As University Plaza preschoolers looked on, state Senator Brad Hoylman greeted his daughter, Silvia, as she zipped down the dragon play slide’s tongue in Adrienne’s Garden.

Adrienne’s Garden, a new toddlers playground boasting a gleaming dragon climbing structure and slide, was officially opened last Thursday morning on LaGuardia Place near W. Third St. It’s named after artist and high school teacher Adrienne Goldberg, the late wife of community activist Lawrence B. Goldberg, the president of Friends of LaGuardia Place. Adrienne died at age 63 in February 2008.

However, New York University plans to close the new playground in around 10 years from now when it expects to start construction on the first of the “Boomerang Buildings” — two boomerang-shaped infill buildings on the Washington Square Village superblock.

Alicia Hurley, N.Y.U. vice president of government relations and community engagement, said, in a statement, “As per the City Council’s approval of N.Y.U.’s ULURP application, there will be no construction on the northern superblock for at least 10 years. Once construction begins on the building planned along LaGuardia Place on the northern block, Adrienne’s Garden will be displaced. But at the conclusion of construction, the garden will be expanded and relocated on the city-owned strip of land along LaGuardia Place.”

Philip Lentz, N.Y.U. director of public affairs, added, “We have an easement on that strip for the construction of the LaGuardia building, such as for moving construction materials in.”

But officials at Thursday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony were breathing fire at the threat of closing and relocating the dragon playground. They said they would fight to keep it open and right where it is.

Under the plan, N.Y.U. intends to construct four new buildings, with a total of 2 million square feet, on its two South Village superblocks.

At the new playground’s dedication ceremony, from left, state Senator Brad Hoylman and his daughter, Silvia; Borough President Scott Stringer; Assemblymember Deborah Glick; former Councilmember Alan Gerson; Lawrence B. Goldberg; David Gruber, Community Board 2 chairperson; Councilmember Margaret Chin; and Bill Castro, Manhattan borough Parks Department commissioner.

At the new playground’s dedication ceremony, from left, state Senator Brad Hoylman and his daughter, Silvia; Borough President Scott Stringer; Assemblymember Deborah Glick; former Councilmember Alan Gerson; Lawrence B. Goldberg; David Gruber, Community Board 2 chairperson; Councilmember Margaret Chin; and Bill Castro, Manhattan borough Parks Department commissioner.

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