November 6, 2013

Then & Now: The birches of Astor Place

Image: Birches, Astor Place subway plaza, July 2013

Image: Birches, Astor Place subway plaza, October 2013


The birch trees growing in the subway plaza at Astor Place were removed to make way for a redesigned Astor Place and Cooper Square.  EV Grieve reported on the tree removal here and here.  The design proposal by WXY Architecture was covered by Curbed NY.

4 comments:

  1. I'm assuming you're writing from up in NYC, which is funny because my niece just moved there about 6 months ago to work in Manhattan. I have a good idea of where this is since I've been up there a few times, but it's often a shame that they would cut down such a great looking strip of trees to make room for some road improvements. There had always been an urban clash between people and trees, but sometimes I don't understand the benefits of cutting them down.

    What do you think of the new design?

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  2. local ecologistNovember 08, 2013

    I like the idea of expanding tree canopy coverage in Astor Place because currently the tree coverage:built area ratio is low. However, I haven't seen the rationale for the removal of the birches. Presumably they could have been incorporated into the design.

    Thank you for following the blog, Steve!

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  3. Dbsmith260March 11, 2014

    I was sorry to recently find the beautiful birches gone. Couldn't they at least have been dug up and planted elsewhere? At least, I think the new design looks really good and more trees will be great. We need all the trees we can get in this city. I agree it's too bad the birches couldn't have been incorporated in the new design.

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  4. I was just a landscape architecture student at UGA the summer when I worked restoring Central Park and a rich influential woman asked for trees at Astor Place - we finally decided on River Birch and I drew up the plans not knowing that what I drew would come to fruition. I am so sad that they removed the trees as it was such a landmark achievement that concrete was removed for such a small green space. I am happy that the trees were loved and enjoyed by many while they were there.

    ReplyDelete

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