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Monday, June 15, 2009

Stoned again on Leonard Street in Tribeca

Leonard St. in Tribeca

TribecaCobblestoned that is. I noticed as I was walking home from the office today, this scene of Leonard Street undergoing a restoration to its original cobblestone pavers. It is being done as it was originally paved, starting at Hudson Street and moving eastward to West Broadway. These are beautiful finishing touches that help soften the edges of the neighborhood, and a reconnects us visually and tactilely, with its history. It adds value to the experience of everyone who lives here or visits. The work is part of the Harrison, Leonard, Greenwich Streets Reconstruction Project which LowerManhattan.info says, "includes utility upgrades including water and sewer mains, catch basins, and electric, cable, and telecommunications. Curbs, sidewalks (some pigmented), and roadway restoration... Reconstruction of Harrison from Hudson to West Street is slated to start by late 2009." I can tell you from personal driving experience, that stretch of Harrison Street is sorely in need of help, I just hope my shocks hold out until the work is done. The entire project is expected to conclude in spring 2010.

reader comments:

I love the cobblestone... Great, historically interesting, touch.

 
 

For an economy that's not booming, is this necessary? Seems as though this would be triple, if not more, the money to reconstruct the streets to appear more attractive.

 
 

It's a comment that I've heard before which goes to fiscal priorities and the value of preservation. I can tell you that the streets are in need of repaving, and that they have devolved into a random patchwork of Belgium Block and asphalt. This penny wise pound foolish approach doesn't work in the long run. This is restoration, not decoration. I'm a believer in preserving the character of historic neighborhoods like Tribeca and the Village. I think that our culture generally under appreciates the value that beauty and design bring into our communities and lives. This work is also providing employment for New Yorkers and contributing to the local economy. I hope that we have a city where our design history and neighborhoods, are not forced to relinquish their beauty, or prove their worth again and again. It would be like being poked to death by the pencil points of cost accountants. We will wind up with city that reflects a culture which understands only the cost of everything, but the value of nothing.

 
 

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