Part II: Update on NYC Parks Department Redesign of Washington Sq Park – Performance Space

washington sq park under construction
washington sq park under construction

Following up on yesterday’s up-to-the-minute-facts on New York City redesign of Washington Square Park which included the Status of Phase I and work on the Fountain thus far.

Here is Part II:

The Washington Square Park Task Force Meeting also included discussion of work in the next two Phases of the redesign of this historic Park:

3. PERFORMANCE SPACE :

Taking the place of the “Teen Playground,” as well known for its teen activities as its stage platform — host to many historic performances and activities, including 50 years of the Washington Square Music Festival — will be a new “Elevated Concert Space” (minus the Teen Playground). This is in the southern area of the Park (to the east of the Fountain). The stage will be the same size of 600 square feet. It will be 21-22″ tall with stairs on one side; a ramp on the other leading to the landscaped grass.

Cause for concern:

HEIGHT OF STAGE REDUCED ALMOST IN HALF; NO RAILING

The current height of the stage is 36″ which is a standard for most classical music stages. This height works for the Washington Sq Music Festival and other performances. At 22″, the performers are barely separated from the audience.

When the Park was last redesigned in 1969-1970, 46 groups were consulted on the stage and asked about their needs for performances including NYU, church and political groups. Consensus was reached on the design.

Not so, this time. It’s George Vellonakis all the time.

What the Community wants, needs, or even what makes logical sense does not seem to factor much into the redesigner’s plan.

There is also no RAILING on the current design. The representative at the meeting from the Washington Sq Music Festival pointed out that a railing around the stage is “theatrically necessary,” and very important for safety so that the conductor “doesn’t fall off.”

Sounds fairly significant, eh?

… Stay tuned… there’s more!

Read Part I here.

Moving forward? Here’s Part III.