The Harlem Meer area of Central Park will be getting a major makeover in coming years.
On Wednesday, the Central Park Conservancy announced plans for a new recreational facility that will replace the aging pool and ice-skating rink, which has dealt with problems since it was built and obstructs the flow of people, as well as picturesque views. Additionally, the project will repair the damaged landscape and improve the ecology of the north end.
The north end project has a budget of $150 million, with $40 million coming from a maintenance, and capital repair fund. New York City is providing the park with $50 million for the project. The Central Park Conservancy, a private, nonprofit organization that restores, manages, and enhances Central Park, said it is committed to raising $100 million.
The park upgrades will kick off with the landscape around Harlem Meer, with a focus on fixing the damaged landscape. The project will also be creating a new recreation center which will hold the pool and the rink.
The Lasker Rink and Pool has been the barrier between the Meer and the Ravine in the south; this project will remove the blockage, allowing the water to run through both areas seamlessly adding to the picturesque scenery the park is known for.
This project will also create a new pedestrian path where visitors can view from the Huddlestone Arch. The building will be moved, so the view is prettiest, and the new building is said to blend into the topography of the park.
To build up the already beautiful area, it was announced that the design will include a boardwalk across small islands, and the freshwater marsh, which will also flow into the Meer. The boardwalk will be used for wildlife observation, fishing, and community programming.
The new building that will hold the skating rink and pool will have a green, vegetated roof, which will cover the facility. There is an area in which the Central Park Conservancy will offer spaces for any kinds of public gatherings and provide amenities to keep the area running smoothly.
The pool will be transformed into an elongated oval, and it will be built at a lower elevation. During the winter, the pool will be transformed into an ice-skating rink.
The conservatory team are also doing their best to be as sustainable as possible when it comes to this new development.
They are seeking to improve the damaged ecology and hydrology of the site by their new plan. They will also be providing “stack ventilation” to minimize the use of energy for cooling and heating. The plumbing will be minimizing the use of potable water.
Some other highlights include: the facility will be using natural and locally sourced items, that can be recycled and reused on-site. The glass will even be bird-safe and have low-reflectivity. Additionally, the building was designed to achieve a LEED gold rating.
The project is expected to break ground in 2021, and the construction is expected to be completed in 2024.