DOWNTOWN MANHATTAN – With the friends and family of Elizabeth H. Berger in attendance, Council Member Margaret S. Chin today celebrated the groundbreaking of the Elizabeth H. Berger Plaza. This new .68 acre unified park will transform the area into a “village green” dedicated to the memory of Elizabeth H. Berger, the former president of the Downtown Alliance, who initiated the planning for this project. A gracefully contoured lawn will be framed by raised berms planted with new trees, shrubs and evergreens, to change the hardscape into a green environment that will buffer park users from noisy nearby traffic.
“As the President of the Downtown Alliance, Liz Berger was a force to be reckoned with,” said Council Member Chin. “I will always remember her passionate advocacy for a greener, more vibrant Lower Manhattan.That’s why the Elizabeth H. Berger Plaza is such a wonderful tribute to her legacy—it pushes forward her dream for a better Downtown. As her friend, it was an honor to help make this Plaza a reality. I want to thank the DowntownAlliance and Parks Department for making this possible.”
Council Member Chin worked with her colleagues to secure $2.85million of New York City Council money out of the total $5.9 million provided for the project.
At today’s groundbreaking, Council Member Chin joined New York City Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, Parks Manhattan Borough Commissioner William Castro, Department of Transportation Borough Commissioner Edward Pincar, Jr., Manhattan Deputy Borough President Matthew Washington, Senator Brian Kavanagh, Manhattan Community Board One Chair Anthony Nortaro, Downtown Alliance President Jessica Lappin and the friends and family of Liz Berger.
The new plaza will include seating and open space for gatherings and programming. The plaza and park paths will be paved with hexagonal asphalt pavers. Other features include granite curbs, 1939 World’s Fair park benches using recycled plastic lumber, Riverside Park light poles and luminaires, and other materials found in many New York City parks.
Liz Berger served as the President of the Downtown Alliance from 2007-2013 during which time she successfully advocated for full funding and timely completion of the Fulton Street Transit Center, the reconstruction of Fiterman Hall, just north of the Trade Center, after its near destruction during 9/11 and the enactment of commercial leasing incentives following the terrorist attacks.