Washington Square Park Redesign — Phase II's Final Piece, The Popular Chess Plaza & SouthWest Quadrant: Has Work Just … Stopped?

Updated 12:26 p.m. — What is going on with Phase II-B, the Chess Plaza and Southwestern section, at Washington Square Park? Work has been stopped for about 3 weeks now. The chess players long ago relocated to Phase I’s NorthWest Quadrant yet it remains a mind boggling state of affairs.

When will Washington Square Park Redesign: Phase II construction actually be completed?

Phase II is the middle phase of Washington Square Park’s controversial redesign, originally budgeted at $16 Million, now doubled at $32 Million and counting. Construction work on Phase II began in Fall 2009 — it was scheduled for completion initially in Fall of 2010. Earlier this year, parts of Phase II were moved into Phase III, including the Mounds, Large Dog Run, and Perimeter Sidewalks.

For Phase II-B, the landscaping hasn’t been done, no new trees or flowers have been planted, the trash cans and water fountains are still under wraps, the fence installation has stalled. It’s as if this Quadrant remains frozen in time — with no construction activity — for about 3 weeks now (after months of slow going).

Chess... Anyone?
East Side Fencing Begun... then Stopped
Fence Yet to Be Installed
Unfinished Chess Plaza
Where did everyone go??
Pathway heading South
Trash Cans Remain Under Wraps
Water fountain awaits unveiling

Long delayed Phase II-A (Eastern end of the Park) opened June 2nd.

The last completion date for Phase II-B from the city Parks Department’s press office was end of September (after a long list of roving dates) — which is, um, tomorrow (they also classified this time period as “end of summer”).

With one day left in September, can late September completion date possibly hold true? Of course, no. The dearth of work activity on this section of the park brings up many questions. Ideally, the Community Board and City Council would weigh in here — but since they have not at any point up to this, it is unlikely.

What is going on…? The Parks Department is having a difficult time getting things right lately.


Previously on WSP Blog:

What’s happening with Phase II-B / Chess Plaza & SW End? August 31, 2011

Part I: Washington Square Park Phase II: An Eerie Silence — What’s Going On? September 1, 2010

Part II: Washington Square Park Phase II: Lack of Transparency and Oversight Continue September 7, 2010

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