Astor Place/Cooper Square Design Changes
Earlier this month, the City presented revised plans for a redesign of Astor Place and Cooper Square, changing and expanding green spaces and pedestrianizing some streets. View images of the City’s proposed plans HERE.
GVSHP is generally very supportive of expanding and enhancing public spaces and making our streets more pedestrian-friendly, and these intersections present many good opportunities to do so. However, one strong concern we have with the plan is that in pedestrianizing parts of Astor Place and Stuyvesant Street, the City’s plan would more or less make parts of these streets — among the oldest and most historically significant in the city — disappear. Stuyvesant Street was laid out by the original Dutch settlers of New York to traverse Peter Stuyvesant’s land, and rather than following the Manhattan street grid, is actually the only true East-West street in Manhattan. Astor Place is also one of New York’s oldest streets, dating back to the era of Dutch settlement and following an Indian trail.
Rather than eliminating these pieces of our history, we believe that any redesign or pedestrianization of the area should memorialize and maintain these historic street patterns, even if they are closed to vehicular traffic. Read GVSHP’s letter to the Department of Transportation HERE. The City’s plan will come before the Public Design Commission for review and approval in either late January or February. If you would like to find out when the hearing is scheduled or submit comments on the City’s plan now, CLICK HERE.