Monday, June 19, 2017

Juneberries in Isham Park

Juneberries in Isham Park today.
This coming Wednesday June 21st celebrate the Summer Solstice in Isham Park where juneberries, along with mulberries, are now ripe.

"Juneberry" is only one of the many names these native shubs go by: "shadbush, serviceberry, shadblow, wild sugarplum, saskatoon. The official name is Amelanchier: ("The name saskatoon originated from a Cree noun misâskwatômina (misāskwatōmina, misaaskwatoomina) for Amelanchier alnifolia.").  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amelanchier

They are delicious! Thank you so much to former Inwood resident, first nations Cree Harlan Pruden for sharing his plants knowledge!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Proposed Historic District for Inwood

Isham family Memorial Terrace in Isham Park, November 2014.

Last October, Volunteers for Isham Park (VIP) sent a Request for Evaluation (RFE) for Inwood to the Landmarks Preservation Commission.  The RFE included a three page narrative and a Powerpoint presentation.

The proposed district is a significant step in the process begun in 2011 when Inwood was selected as one of the first communities for the Historic Districts Council's new "Six to Celebrate" program.

On May 3, 2017, the narrative and the Powerpoint from the RFE was presented at the CB12 Manhattan Land Use Committee meeting. 

We have discovered that the files for the RFE can be shared via a "public" "Dropbox" link.  We hope you will have a look and, if you like what you see, support the effort. 

The proposed district is titled:
 "Broadway Corridor Historic District, Inwood, Manhattan"

Narrative: https://www.dropbox.com/s/s9k9lx8gq9q0mhq/FINAL%2010-5-16%20Inwood%20HD%20RFE-narrative.pdf?dl=0

Powerpoint:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/3ajommakhnwjc9g/REVISED%20Broadway%20Corridor-%20Inwood%20Manhattan%202017-5-5%20sm.pdf?dl=0





Friday, April 14, 2017

First VIP post of 2017


One year ago today, VIP posted about the little Dutchman's Breeches blooming in Inwood Hill Park.

Thanks to a trial run of Nancy Bruning's upcoming Forest Fitness Class, we learned on Wednesday that they are blooming once again!  Spicebush is too, creating a golden haze throughout the Clove near the rock formation known as Shorakappock.

Nancy's Forest Fitness Class starts next Monday, April 17th
12 noon to 1:00 pm
Meet at noon at the Nature Center - about a block west of, but inside the Indian Road and West 218th street entrance to Inwood Hill Park (across from the Indian Road Cafe).

Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/events/592799387597902/

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Preserve Inwood! May 7th Jane's Walk!

Join us on May 7 for an on-the-ground tour of the neighborhood and discuss these issues with its citizens!
4650 Broadway, site of proposed 27 story development.  
Built in 1926, this is one of three remaining buildings in Manhattan 
by Detroit-based, prolific architect Albert Kahn.
Join Inwood residents and members of Volunteers for Isham Park and Transportation Alternatives for a walk focused on the design history of Inwood, the community at the northern tip of Manhattan. The tour will also highlight potential changes to its cohesive Art Deco streetscapes and WPA-funded park spaces, as well as proposed improvements to the existing street infrastructure. Capture it while you can: attendees will also see architect Albert Kahn's uptown showroom for the now-defunct Packard Motor Company (above), this building could be lost as only one negative result of requested up-zoning. 
 May 7th 2016
9:00 am
Existing conditions: Ft. Tryon Park. 4650 Broadway 
visibility study by Saratoga Associates

Proposed 23-story tower from Ft. Tryon Park. 4650 Broadway 
visibility study by Saratoga Associates

     The Historic Districts Council chose Inwood as one of the Six to Celebrate neighborhoods in 2011 for its historical, architectural and environmental attributes. Nearly half of the land in Inwood is public park space which preserves natural terrain and geological features. Thus, Inwood’s distinctive development pattern and architecture was created in relation to the original landscape of Manhattan Island.  
     One of Inwood and Washington Heights’ treasured historical resources is Fort Tryon Park, a 67-acre park which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of only ten Scenic Landmarks in all of New York City.  Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. the park’s landscape is unrivaled in its romantic views of the Hudson River, the Palisades, and its rich topography.
      However, the super-tall development found in other parts of the city has arrived above 200th Street in Manhattan in this low-scale neighborhood. Ft. Tryon Park and the Inwood community is currently threatened by two proposed buildings which will irreversibly alter the experience of the park and the neighborhood at large.  The proposed upzoning for 4650 Broadway will be a 27-story building abutting the park, four times taller than the surrounding buildings’ heights. The other proposal, 4566 Broadway, would allow a 19-story development (increase in FAR from 3.44 to 9.96). 
   Click here to send a letter saying "NO" to spot-rezoning and require an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) of the cumulative impacts of these projects, and undertake a comprehensive plan to develop appropriately scaled development, similar to the City’s InwoodNYC plan immediately to the north.

This Jane's Walk is co-sponsored by the Historic Districts Council.  See their post (which is heavily quoted above) on the upcoming Inwood walk here:
http://6tocelebrate.org/news-events/2016-six-to-celebrate-tours/
 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Jane's Walk in Inwood Saturday morning May 7th

Tower of the Cloisters Museum, Ft. Tryon Park, viewed from Isham Park.
Please come walk & talk about Inwood on a Jane's Walk to be held on Saturday May 7th from 9:00 to 11:00am.  Over 200 Jane's Walks are to be held on the weekend of May 6-8, 2016 in NYC.  The Municipal Art Society is the city organizer for New York City's Jane's Walks, which are held annually in cities all over the world.  Below is the link to the Inwood walk on the MAS site:

http://janeswalk.org/united-states/new-york-city-ny/jane-jacobs-robert-moses-intersections-along-broadway-inwood/

Who was Jane Jacobs? MAS:
"She was an urban activist, thinker, and writer. Though she did not have formal training as an urban planner, her work was fueled by a deep love for cities and the people who live in them. Her approach to urban planning—based on observation and pedestrian experience rather than theoretical principles—was radical during an age when top-down planning was the status quo.
What is she famous for? Jane became the voice of the opposition to urban renewal and “slum clearance” planning practices that were popular in cities during the 1960s.
She organized a grassroots effort to thwart Robert Moses’s proposed “Lower Manhattan Expressway” project, which was set to destroy the historic fabric of SoHo and Greenwich Village.
In 1961, she published her most influential book, "The Death and Life of Great American Cities."

Who was Robert Moses?:
Robert Moses as remembered today needs no introduction (see comments above). However in 1936, the American Scenic & Historic Preservation Society gave Moses the prestigious Cornelius Armory Pugsley [gold] Medal for work he had accomplished on parkways and in parks up to that date. The Art Deco era improvement in Inwood begun under Moses that very year was completed by WPA workers, architects, landscape architects, and engineers who designed and constructed parkway and parkland features in relation to historic roads or pathways and the last remaining natural landscape of Manhattan Island. Many features of the 1930s improvement and many related surrounding Art Deco era residential and commercial buildings are still extant in Inwood.  

Who is the MAS? MAS:
"The MAS advocates for a more livable city. Through policy reports and public programs, we work to protect the best of New York’s existing landscape, from landmarks and historic districts to public open spaces. With visionary initiatives like the Alliance for a New Penn Station, MAS also helps shape thoughtful planning and design for New York’s future.  MAS became the New York City organizer for Jane’s Walk in 2011.  MAS is committed to highlighting the importance of Jane Jacob’s legacy year-round. Her legacy inspires our community-based planning work, such as our popular Livable Neighborhoods Program."

Please note: This Jane's Walk is initiated by members of Volunteers for Isham Park who will meet up with members of Transportation Alternatives. Co-sponsored by the Historic Districts Council who in 2011 selected Inwood as one of the HDC's first "Six to Celebrate" communities in NYC.

Who is Transportation Alternatives? TA:
https://www.transalt.org/getinvolved/fix-our-streets


To see all MAS organized Jane's Walks in NYC for 2016 go to:
http://janeswalk.org/united-states/new-york-city-ny/

Friday, April 15, 2016

Please sign this Inwood Quality of Life petition!

Please sign this petition intended to preserve Inwood and Washington Heights' quality of life, opposing the two tall tower developments proposed for 4650 (corner of Sherman Avenue) and 4566 Broadway (corner of Nagle Avenue) across from Scenic Landmark Ft. Tryon Park and the Cloisters Museum!  

https://act.myngp.com/Forms/2546915932031551488?midqs=-6749206991568109568

Thank you to Susan Mathisen and the Historic Districts Council for posting this petition and link on the Facebook page: Inwood Preservation.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Dutchman's Breeches

These little guys are in bloom in Inwood Hill Park.  They are almost invisible, so look carefully for them.

Almost a whole year has passed since we have added to this blog. This image is again not of Isham Park which is very beautiful in spring as well.

But these are so very special and are only around for a short time, so wanted to alert anyone interested to see them asap...