Thursday, September 3, 2009

Planning a Park and Respecting History

The picture above shows an overlay photo of the current plot at the corner of South and Grand Streets with outlines of structures found on historical maps from 1884 to 1959. After mapping out the area, digging, sifting, and cataloging, archaeologists from Landmark Archaeology found historical artifacts and structures. Some were only a few inches below the surface. These photos, courtesy of the report by Landmark Archaeology, Inc., show some of the structures that were found:

Fortunately, this summer the City of Newburgh Planning and Development Office, working together with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), project architects, and community representatives, found solutions that allow the park to move forward, while still respecting the history of the location. The solutions involve relatively minor adjustments to the park design, along with extra care during construction.

The drawing below shows yet another overlay, with the park drawing on top of the plot photo and the locations of the historical structures from the maps. It looks like instead of a sunken ampitheater facing the south-east corner, we'll need to have more of a level field facing a raised "earth-stage" to be located in the south-east corner of the park.

In another piece of good news, the city was awarded a grant by KaBOOM, Inc. toward Spring 2010 construction of the playground. We are now looking forward to the Sept. 10, 2009 7pm City Council Worksession for approval to move forward with the latest solutions.

At least one of us is ready to listen to some live music watching the Hudson River roll on in the background and a picnic blanket on the lawn. : )


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