The Parks Department has also offered a more specific timeline for the pavement reconstruction of the multipurpose courts (seen above) along Avenue A and 10th Street.
That work is expected to start in September ... with an anticipated completion in June 2024... (a city official previously said this work would only take three months...)here.
The Parks Department will reconstruct the multipurpose courts, adding various amenities, including a two-lane seal-coated walking loop, and new asphalt.
According to Max Goodstein, a landscape architect with the Parks Department, there's a lot of "asphalt structural damage," and it "needs to be replaced and repaired. And the only way to do that is to take all the asphalt down to the sub base and put new asphalt down."
Other additions: new benches, a kickball court, a high-low fountain that kids and adults can use simultaneously, and three new basketball backstops at the eastern end, replacing the ones that always seem to be damaged.
So what does this mean for the skaters on the lot (aka TF), hallowed ground where generations have used this space dating to the 1980s? (It has been called "the last great meet-up spot for skateboarders and their friends in New York.")
Skaters are worried the new asphalt will be either too soft or hard for skating, turning this into a useless spot.
As you may recall, in September 2019, the skateboarding community came together via a petition started by Adam Zhu and signed by 33,000-plus people to show their support for keeping the multipurpose courts free of synthetic turf... plans apparently only known to residents who attended a Community Board 3 committee meeting in May 2019.
However, less than 24 hours before a much-publicized rally was to take place, the city announced that it would no longer cover the space in turf, originally proposed to make up for the amenities lost during the years-long gutting of East River Park.
"Tompkins Square Park has served as the epicenter of NYC skateboard culture for decades. As such, we have decided to leave the area previously proposed for synthetic in the park as is and will not move forward with creating a synthetic turf area there," Parks Department spokesperson Crystal Howard said in a statement to Patch at the time.
And as we've noted previously, the reconstructed layout of the space may make this the end of the epicenter of NYC skateboard culture.
Previously on EV Grieve:
I sure hope this turns out well for the skaters, but the city has been particularly bad about repaving famous old skate spots. Ask the folks up at the skate circle in Central Park: after years of begging for it to be replaced, the city did such a shit job that huge holes opened up only a week later, making it dangerous for the roller skaters who have met there for decades. Let's keep our fingers crossed they learned something from that and won't do the same thing...
I'm all for an improved park, but I worry that we will have half of Tompkins closed, as well as East River Park, and there will be very little park space for anyone for at least two years. After going through the pandemic, I think we learned how essential outdoor space is for basic physical and mental health. I just hope this work can be completed as soon as possible, but knowing this city, I expect it to drag out for additional months.
9:32: Well said.
The city government who approve these things are morons that never take any word from the people. They keep showing crap down our throat and people have no say. Whether it's closing off streets or adding "no parking" signs for no reason, making weird track things that nobody needs, tearing down decades of growth at ERP, it never ends with these people, no voice of the people, just weird "how can we spend this money" ideas.
Park needs to be completely restructured and “opened up”. The the old fencing that was put in ages ago for crowd control needs to be removed. This would allow for a more open feel. Get rid of as much black top asphalt as possible and replace with small gravel or stone walkways. The huge lot for skaters is over kill in my opinion. They would never allow a park that gets this much use to look like this in West Village.
Maybe you should check out WVgrieve.com
What about the asphalt pathways, like the 9th St pathway and the Ave A & 7th St pathway?
@12:59 - I don't know if Washington Square has this problem, but the fences in Tompkins have, until recently, kept dogs out of the planted areas (not the dogs' fault, but the owners). If you look at the area next to the playground on the 7th Street side, the old iron fence was replaced with metal pipes that you can easily step over. This whole area used to be grass and flowers, but now it's 100% dirt because people are using it as a dog run.
I'm all for keeping the fences for this reason. In a normal world, you could trust people to respect the park, but the reality is people are abusing Tompkins and don't seem to be interested in respecting our shared community space.
Shortsighted renovation. TSP needs expansion. Shut down the surrounding streets to enable this. Few residents own cars, but all have need for more green nature. Turn it into a paradisical oasis. The former Skater area should be turn into green space, while the adject stretch of Ave A, closed for car traffic, is ideal for skating. Other asphalted street good for other sports. Think beyond cars. Use imagination.
The LES skate park under the Brooklyn Bridge will not be open until the renovation is finished in 2024 per Mayor Adams in this article: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/26/nyregion/brooklyn-banks-skateboarding-nyc.html
It would be nice if the renovation under the Brooklyn Bridge was accelerated to take over demand when the Tompkins Square skateboarding area is closed for renovation.
Also, who is going to run in a circle around the skateboarders on the new TSP track while dodging runaway skateboards from wipeouts? Don't want to complain about any efforts to improve TSP, but sure hope the designers understand what kind of surface the skateboarders need. Figures crossed!
Hi everyone. I walk almost every day down to my favorite park. SEWARD PARK. It has a lovely community feel. After the destruction of the East River....thanks Carlina...it is a sanctuary. The library there is also great. Occasional skateboarders appear too. Just a suggestion.
I agree the dogs aren’t helping the lawns. However the big reason there is no grass there anymore is the city pulled our gardener from Tompkins. Deb (our old gardener) used to seed and water those side lawns — as well as the main lawn — every spring. This hasn’t happened in a number of years.Tompkins used to have a full time gardener, an assistant gardener and two interns! We now have none. And it now looks like most of the staff is now stationed at Sara Roosevelt park and dropped off at Tompkins in a van for only the early morning hours. By Noon, there’s no staff to be found in the park
As another East Village resident, I disagree with pretty much everything you've laid out here—just sayin'
If you don’t have anything clever funny or intelligent to say don’t say anything at all.
Seward Park is so much nicer than Tompkins Square, Park right now so I hope that people from this neighborhood do not start going down there. The exercise area and basketball area share the same blacktop and everyone respects each others space. The volleyball courts feature some amazing games and tournaments. There’s a big playground and sprinklers in the middle without a fence around it and the children seem to be just fine. There’s a great dumpling spot across the street and plenty of good restaurants around to get food and eat it in the park. There is a very nice quiet garden area near the library. The bathrooms aren’t nearly as rancid as TSP. The biggest diffemce is the people who use the park. These are mostly neighbors who respect each other, and allow each other to use the space for the purpose it was designed, not different groups, competing to try to make the space their own.
I’ve lived 45yrs across this field. NO ONE mentions the noise those hollow platforms make when the skateboarders jump on them. We have to live with these incessant banging sounds all day. Let them skate by all means SANS platforms!
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