Landscape Architect & Specifier News

MAR 2018

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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Page 19 of 165

Continued on page 20 20 Landscape Architect and Specifier News Ramon Aponte Park is a 0.17-acre pocket park tucked into the middle of an urban neighborhood block consisting of multi- story residential apartments, commercial storefronts, and educational institutions. Located on West 47th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues in the borough of Manhattan, the site was first developed as park space by its namesake, Ramon Aponte, in 1979. Aponte led the advocacy group that saw the potential for the land as a park to rejuvenate the neighborhood. The site was initially designed with three distinct areas; a basketball court at the back of the property, a play area to the west, and a spray shower to the east, all divided by a central axis path leading to the courts in the rear. The transformation of this empty lot into a quality recreational space continued with a second reconstruction in 1990, when it became part of the NYC Parks system. In the latest redesign, the challenge was to provide as much activity as possible in a small area without compromising room to move around in. This was accomplished by having the circulation paths double as 'run-off space' for the play area. The new design relocated the central entrance gate to the west, allowing for a larger, unified play space to the east with equipment manufactured by GameTime of Fort Payne, Alabama. The swings fit best in the northwest corner adjacent to the spray shower, which uses flush-mounted nozzles by Vortex and is sited in the sunny northeast corner of the park. The curvilinear main axis corridor runs diagonally through the site from the entrance gate to the back corner spray Ramon Aponte Park Revitalized p l a y g ro u n d by Mike Kralovich, NYC Parks Ramon Aponte Park in Hell's Kitchen (47 Street between 8th & 9th Ave., in Manhattan) has been upgraded with new equipment (GameTime) and safety surfacing, rain gardens and new plantings. The park's new design centers around an existing plum tree (left). The colors of the play equipment were chosen to approximate the foliage colors of the plum tree. When the space was an empty lot in the 1970s, the park's namesake advocated for a park here, and with financial support of local developer Lewis Futterman, the playground opened in 1979. The park was designated part of the NYC Parks system in 1987, and was first renovated in 1990.

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