Neighborhood Wants Park Back From “Fashion Week”

06.11.12 David Lumb

“It was a community resource that was enjoyed year-round. There were benches where people could read, children used to come here and ride their bikes and skateboard. There were beautiful trees,” said resident Susan Koeppel.

All of that changed, according to Koeppel, two years ago, when the city entered into a 10-year license agreement with the nearby Lincoln Center, which started charging private concessionaires to use the space.

Headline events at Damrosch now include the Big Apple Circus and the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, as well as a myriad of other events.

“There’s private parties, private fundraisers, so tents are up for many, many months. The Big Apple Circus is here. So again, for 10 months it’s like a convention center,” said Geoffrey Croft of New York City Park Advocates.”

In a story by Amanda Farinacci of NY 1 about the Fashion Week-plagued Damrosch Park. Though residents have been pissed for awhile, construction across the street at Fordham University was the straw that broke the camel’s back – Community Board 7 voted on a resolution to ask the city for its park back and oust Fashion Week. Sadly, the board’s fire and fury won’t do much versus a city with no control over the park. As the next Fashion Week looms on the September horizon, residents are “exploring all of their options,” including the possibility of a lawsuit.

(Photo: wwward0/Flickr)