On Tuesday, an impressive crowd gathered in Washington Square Park to cut the ribbon on a multi-year renovation project that preserved some of the park’s most historic features and provided important upgrades, including a new parkhouse designed by BKSK. Needless to say, we are very proud to have contributed to the revitalization of such a lively, public, and historic place.
At the ribbon cutting, key remarks came from Mitchell J. Silver, the Commissioner for New York’s Department of Parks & Recreation, as well as Dr. Feniosky Peña-Mora, the Commissioner for the Department of Design & Construction, and Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President. While there were many notable attendees, none were as enthusiastic (or adorable) as the students from teacher Lindsay Litinger’s first-grade class at nearby PS 41, who helped cut the ribbon at the conclusion of the ceremony.
Many of the event’s speakers lauded the new parkhouse, a quietly impressive building that serves both the public and key Parks staff. The program is substantial, considering the facility’s modest size, and includes public ADA-accessible restrooms, offices, storage, and unique mechanical spaces, most notably the pumps that operate the park’s historic display fountain.
Our team worked diligently to support these functions with minimal environmental impact, resulting in the implementation of several sustainable design elements such as photovoltaic panels and ground-source heat pumps. As a result, the building runs almost exclusively off of self-generated energy and is likely to achieve LEED Platinum certification. As many people noted during the ribbon cutting, Washington Square Park is setting an example for environmentally and socially responsible design, and the parkhouse is a significant aspect of this precedent.
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