A lawsuit against the city of New York and the Union Square Partnership in relation to their redesign plans for Union Square Park is being announced this morning as well as the issuance last night of a TRO(Temporary Restraining Order) by the New York State Supreme Court on the City’s work at Union Square Park.
The NYC Parks Department’s plans for Union Square Park, according to NYC Park Advocates, which announced the lawsuit, would “take away thousands of square feet of desperately needed play space in a community with the lowest amount of playground space and the highest concentration of restaurants in the city.”
The press release from NYC Park Advocates also states that the previously announced $5 million “anonymous donation” has now risen to $7 million. The stipulation with the donation is that the redesign of Union Square Park include a restaurant. That restaurant is believed to be already allocated to restauranteur Danny Meyer, also co-chair of the Union Square Partnership, the local BID (business improvement district).
“The neighborhood wants the pavilion to be returned to its historic use as a children’s play space as well as for other community uses. For more than 100 years, the pavilion provided indoor space for children.”
The plaintiffs prevailed in their request for a TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) last night (4/21) which was issued by State Justice John E.H. Stackhouse of New York State Supreme Court. This stopped work on the project. The city has insisted on pushing forward this unpopular plan for Union Square Park despite community opposition.
Also, Arbor (Tree) Day Event at Union Square Park will take place Friday, April 25th from 6-8 p.m. to Protect Our Trees and Stop Privatization of Public Space. Despite Mayor Bloomberg’s hyping of his “MillionTreesNYC” P.R. initiative, thousands of mature trees have been cut down in all five boroughs at our City’s Parks, mostly in the interest of privatization of public space, which has dramatically increased under Mayor Bloomberg. More Details Later Today.