09 January 2009

Redo of Father Demo Park Crappy, It Turns Out


When they unveiled Greenwich Village's Father Demo Square in the summer of 2007, after a lengthy renovation process, there was much jubilation. People largely welcomed the stylish new park, with its fancy paving stones and central fountain. I myself thought it was a fine job, an improvement.

But, just into what is only its second winter, the park is not holding up well. On a recent rainy night, I looked down, wondering why my progress through the square seemed so rocky—I was losing my footing again and again. Dozens of the gray, hexigonal paving stones had fallen out of place. Some has sunk slightly below their original level. Others had risen up. Many were very loose, so loose they could easily have been taken out of the pathway.

The uneven pavement was in evidence all around the square. Larger, black, square stones were also off their moorings. A elderly Villager stopped next to me while I took pictures. She knew what I was doing. "It's terrible," she said. "Look at the bad job they did. They should have kept it the way it way. This is terrible." As an old lady, she was having trouble keeping her balance as she walked along the square.



The last two winters have hardly been harsh. Paving should be able to hold up to worse weather than this. Accounts say landscape architect George Vellonakis did the redesign of Father Demo Square. Vellonakis also designed the highly unpopular Washington Square Park renovation plan. The job cost taxpayers $1,455,000. What did he use to put the stones into place—Elmer's glue?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I remember when the crosswalks on spring street and mercer and spring/wooster were done. they had large heavy stones that were put into the pavement that outlined the crosswalk. less than one year later the stones were jutting out or sunken in, a lot worse than the F Demo sq pavers as seen in the pics here. Now they've mostly just been filled in with asphalt. It's amazing to me that these guys can't even put rocks in the ground correctly. the incompetence level is astounding. I wonder how much we were taken for on that little project.

Con Edison Trucks said...

The paving stones started to crack even before the park officially re-opened. The lousy and corrupt contractor should be sued. Try walking over those shifting stones in winter when it's icy—it's truly dangerous.

d-a-n-i-e-L said...

I live across the street and it is incredible how poor of a job the pavers are. IMO, they did not put enough gravel or sand under the rocks to control the natural settling. I also never once saw a compactor being used to get air pockets out.

On the upside, the Parks department has been great and we love the greenery they put in the fountain over the winter.

Ken Mac said...

I tripped over these just yesterday! Couldn't believe it

hoover factory said...

The makeover of Father Demo Park has all the design sensibility and charm of a shopping mall food court, so this latest development comes as no surprise really...

Big Tuna said...

Putting in pavers are probably one of the easiest things to do....as long as you know what you are doing. I guess the contractor didn't know....uh, yeah, right. Typical do the bare min. for the most money.