Northern Section of Central Park and Public Pool to Get Major Redesign
The city and Central Park Conservancy have announced that they’re planning to make substantial changes to the Lasker Pool and the surrounding area in an effort to make it easier to move through and enjoy the park, particularly for people from Harlem and East Harlem.
Lasker Pool and Rink, which is located around 106th Street in the middle of the park, was built in 1966. Its construction created a barrier between the Harlem Meer to the north and the North Woods to the south. “The anticipated transformation of the facility will restore the lost connection between the two, opening up the area for better use in both directions, from the north and from the south,” a press release from the city says. The city says that the redesign will restore that section of the park to create the flow of people that designer Frederick Law Olmsted had originally intended.
The redesign is still conceptual — the city plans to meet with people in the surrounding community to determine what will work best. The city plans to spend $50 million on the redesign, with the conservancy spending $100 million ($25 million of the conservancy’s money has already been committed). The project’s groundbreaking isn’t expected until 2020.
De Blasio sees this project as part of his “equity agenda,” designed to give people from neighborhoods with fewer amenities better access to parks. State Senator Jose Serrano, who represents parts of the UWS, Harlem and other sections of the city, says that “the re-envisioning of Lasker Pool and Rink will ensure that East Harlem residents have the recreational opportunities and facilities they deserve.”
Some basics of the plan are laid out in the conservancy’s slides below. We’ll plan to update the community once the meetings start.