Thanks to all the volunteers who showed up on a very grey morning this past Saturday (and what turned into a rainy afternoon!) to plant trees and flowers on Newkirk Plaza. Extra thanks to the Flatbush Development Corporation, the Friends of Newkirk Plaza, and Nicole Francis for getting the funding, organizing the volunteers, and everything else they all did to make the Plaza look really terrific.
Special thanks to everyone who helped fund the greening:
• Flatbush Development Corp
• Citizens Committee of New York
• Brooklyn Community Foundation
• Ditmas Park Association
• Ditmas Park West Neighborhood Association
• Beverley Square West Neighborhood Association
• Beverley Square East
• South Midwood Neighborhood Association
• West Midwood Neighborhood Association
• Newkirk Area Neighborhood Association
• Fiske Terrace
• Caton Park
• Brooklyn Hearth Realty – Jan Rosenberg, Deanna Lenhart and Rebekkah Carver
• Mary Kay Gallager Real Estate – Mary Kay Gallagher and Alexandra Reddish
• Abacus Properties – Jeff Surowa and Marie-Ange Augustin
• The Corcoran Group – Kyle and Karen Talbot
• Craig Holland
• Sam Ainbinder
The money for the amenities package for Newkirk Plaza, which includes the planters (but not the plants), was allocated years ago. And the idea for how the Plaza could look has been something people have considered for just as long.
A reader once recommended a great book called How to Save Your Own Street by Raquel Ramati, which includes a chapter on Newkirk Plaza. Published in 1981, the section describes a plan by the Urban Design Group to improve the Plaza with new design elements that would make it a more attractive place for neighbors to hang out. Check out this drawing from the book–looks a lot like what the Plaza finally looks like today, right?
“The Urban Design Group did not want to wipe clean the slate of the street’s character, and start from scratch,” Ramati writes. “It sought to embellish the mosaic of physical and human energy that had already been there for many years.”
Now to implement one other part of the plan, as mentioned in the book: “Outdoor cafes would be established by several of the plaza’s restaurants, in places convenient to both their owners and to the general flow of pedestrians.”
Thanks to neighbor Thomas Siegman for sending the photos of the planters on a sunny Sunday. And to see even more photos, visit the FDC’s Facebook page.