|Image: Perspective view of Canal Street, 1826, print screen from NYPL Digital Gallery (source)|
Were the trees American elms? That streetscape was restorative in contrast to Canal Street today (see below).
|Image: Canal Street facing south towards Lafayette|
The sixty-foot deep spring-fed pond was used for picnics, ice skating, and one of "the first experimental steamboats" was launched there. After the pond was drained, the site was filled with soil from an adjacent hill.
|Image: Collect Pond, 1796, print screen from NYPL Digital Gallery (source)|
|Image: Map of the collect, 1887, print screen from NYPL Digital Gallery (source)|
On a recent mid-afternoon, I was surprised by the appearance of the park given its central location among several government buildings. The ground was covered with litter and the understory landscape was dominated by concrete, patchy grass and weeds, and bare soil. Despite these environmental conditions, I observed many and different types of users taking advantage of the numerous benches located under the shady tree canopy.
Collect Pond Park is due for a redesign, according to the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center website. Here is an excerpt from the website:
[P]ark designers envision the new park as both a sunny lunch spot and a reminder of Manhattan's densely wooded past. The park will be surrounded by shade trees, with a large lawn in the center of the lot and tables along the northern and eastern edges. At the south end of the space, where the parking lot now sits, the Parks Department will place thick beds of ferns and other woodland plants. Water misters will be imbedded in the plantings, making the surrounding air feel wetter and cooler. The park will be enclosed by a four-foot fence and lampposts and will be locked at night.Will the "water misters" tell the history of the park's former aquatic ecology? An illustration of the proposed design is available at wirednewyork.com.
Update, 9/27/2012: Tribeca Citizen is following the renovation of Collect Pond Park. Here's a snapshot of the park as of September 26, 2012:
|Image: Collect Pond Park courtesy of Tribeca Citizen (source)|
Note: this post was originally published on July 19, 2011.