Feb. 6, 2019 By Nathaly Pesantez
Ongoing renovation work at Travers Park has recently hit a significant marker as a large section of the park, shuttered over several months as part of the phased overhaul, reopened last week with new designs and fixtures to boast.
The park, located between 77th and 78th Streets and bordered by 34th Avenue to the south, had closed in early 2018, save for the area north of the handball courts, for a massive redesign that includes merging with two other parcels—the 78th Street Pedestrian Plaza and Staunton Field—to create one seamless open space.
The recently reopened sections include the playgrounds, featuring new equipment for children; an adjacent eight-swing set; bench and table seating areas at the expanded 34th Avenue sidewalk; and the revamped multi-purpose field, once home to handball courts, that can be used for tennis and volleyball, among other uses. Much of the park’s concrete, patterned walkways are also open.
The park’s new great lawn, however, will be surrounded by fencing until its sodded this spring, according to a NYC Parks spokesperson.
The overhaul is about three-fourths complete, in a project that will also see the 78th Street Plaza raised and with a performance area in the center, and upgraded asphalt fields at Staunton Field among other changes. The entire $7.1 million project, which will create a connected space beyond 2.5 acres, is slated to be finished in September.
Construction on the highly-anticipated project began in March, although plans for the open space date back years before that after much community advocacy.
The project’s design phase began in 2014, a year after the city purchased the Staunton Field property from the Garden School next to it, and finished about a year behind schedule in late 2016. Construction delays also set back the project by another year.
Travers Parks’ tot lot is also preparing to undergo a $2 million redesign as part of a separate project. The capital project is in its procurement phase, with construction anticipated to start after March.