Streetscape and Beautification
The Lincoln Square BID’s Streetscape and Beautification Program is one of the most visible and successful efforts for neighborhood improvement undertaken by our organization. When the Lincoln Square BID was established in 1996, we immediately identified the enhancement of the district’s public spaces, especially its ten Broadway Malls, as a key objective. With plenty of elbow grease and well over $1 million raised from our supporters over the last 15 years, Lincoln Square’s gardens and public spaces have been transformed.
The medians along Broadway were once barren and untidy; today our Broadway Malls are lush urban gardens comprised of evergreens, many different shrubs, groundcovers and beautiful blooms all year long. For color and texture, the Lincoln Square BID works with a garden designer to select seasonal blossoms—daffodils and pansies in the spring, and cordylines, petunias, Algerian ivy and zinnias in the summer—and our contracted landscaping company performs bi-monthly maintenance as needed. During the holiday season, the district sparkles with the addition of festive lights adorning the Malls’ trees– generously made possible by Con Edison and Gracious Home. Several years ago, with a generous donation from the former Mayflower Hotel, a founding member of the Lincoln Square BID, and help from the Parks Department, we installed 32 lovely new world's fair benches in the ten malls in Lincoln Square. In 2002, we received a New York City Neighborhood Development Award from Mayor Bloomberg for our Broadway Malls Beautification Program. Throughout the year, the Lincoln Square BID hires a crew from a wonderful Upper West Side social service organization, Goddard Riverside Community Center, to keep the Broadway Malls in the district weed- and litter-free daily – supplementing the efforts of our Clean Team. Thanks to the combined efforts and hard work of our crews, Lincoln Square’s malls look sensational!
The Lincoln Square BID has also made great strides in making our two local parks more beautiful and inviting. With early funding from the Greenacre Foundation, coupled with significant and ongoing support from the family of the famous American tenor, Richard Tucker, the Lincoln Square BID has transformed Richard Tucker Park at 66th Street and Broadway into a welcoming and user-friendly spot for the public, as well as a respite for Greenmarket farmers who sell their produce there on Thursdays and Saturdays. One example of our many improvements to Tucker Park is the introduction of eleven plant-filled containers and moveable bistro-style tables, chairs and umbrellas. Colorful planters, movable tables, chairs and umbrellas have also been added to Dante Park, the small oasis in the district across from Lincoln Center between 63rd and 64th Streets. The results are obvious--walk through either park on a warm afternoon and you’re bound to see workers enjoying lunch in the sunshine, shoppers and tourists taking a moment of respite, students from one the many nearby schools tapping away on their laptops, or passersby gathering to hear free music from the Lincoln Square BID’s summer concert series held on Wednesday afternoons at Tucker Park in July and August. We have also helped bring whimsical sculptures by well-known artists to both parks on temporary bases.
We have made great strides, but we never consider our job finished. We continue to find new and innovative ways to keep the neighborhood beautiful. We now plant and maintain a total of 40 planters at key locations throughout the district, and in 2012, the Tucker family donated funds for a way-finding map kiosk in Richard Tucker Park, while a grant from the Manhattan Borough President’s Borough Needs Program funded a similar kiosk in Dante Park. Both kiosks were installed and feature the history of the parks, including historic photos, a map of the neighborhood and subway and bus maps. After many years of advocacy from the Lincoln Square BID, Dante Park is about to receive a much needed facelift. Council Member Gale Brewer and the New York City Council have allocated sufficient funds to enable the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation to undertake the reconstruction of Dante. New pavers and benches will be installed and new lighting will be added. New trees will be placed along the park's perimeter and, if we are lucky, there may be some shade planting beds. According to the Parks Department, the work will be done in two phases. Phase One is expected to begin in March 2013 and should be completed in spring and will encompass the majority of the southern and mid-section of the park. Because of the Third Water Tunnel project on Columbus Avenue, the northern tip of Dante will be completed in Phase Two once the construction along Columbus Avenue is finished - sometime in 2014.
In addition to the Greenacre Foundation and the Tucker family, the Lincoln Square BID works collaboratively with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and The Broadway Mall Association to enhance and maintain the malls and the small parks located within the district. Property owners, residents, businesses, non-profits and individuals sponsor our beautification efforts and we are careful to maximize their contributions by carefully selecting plant material and ensuring every sponsor dollar goes into the ground. Beautifying Lincoln Square is a year-round effort and we are grateful to our partners for their dedication and support. Click here to see a full list of our beautification supporters.
You can help us plant glorious flowers, maintain shrubs and trees, and keep Lincoln Square blooming all year round by supporting our beautification efforts with a corporate sponsorship or an individual tax-deductible gift. Please visit here for more information or call the office at 212.581.3774.