Monday, July 25, 2011

The HDC's first "Six to Celebrate" Walking Tour for Inwood, Manhattan took place on June 19th 2011

The Historic Districts Council organized the Inwood, Manhattan Walking Tour which was led by Justin Ferate on Sunday June 19th. 

The tour immediately sold out as of nearly the first day it was offered on the HDC website, so Volunteers for Isham Park was unable to announce it.  The HDC promised to offer another tour for the area at a later date.

Volunteers for Isham Park added commentary and historic details about the gift of Isham Park to the tour at the Isham Memorial.    Once again the cool stones of the Isham Memorial and the marble benches made a natural resting and gathering spot.

The NYC Parks Commissioner visited Isham Park on IMPD May 21st 2011

Saturday May 21st 2011 was It's My Park Day in Isham Park.

Volunteers for Isham Park once again centered energy at the Isham Memorial in the park.  New plantings of Hostas, Impatiens, and blue Pansies were added to the beds started on IMPD last October 31st (see related post).  Once again we had the generous assistance of the Parks Department Gardener and the Partnerships for Parks.

We were honored with a visit by the New York City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe and members of his staff including Jennifer Hoppa, Administrator for Northern Manhattan Parks.  The Commissioner reclined on the inscribed marble benches, finding the Isham Memorial an area of cool and shady respite on a warm afternoon.

We shared the water donated by New Heights Realty and the apples we had on hand from the Inwood Green Market, which takes place every Saturday on Isham Street just south of the outcrop of Inwood Marble in Isham Park, between the corners of Cooper Street where it meets Park Terrace West and Seaman Avenue.

Present members of Volunteers for Isham Park were told that Commissioner Benepe concentrated his May 21st  2011 IMPD visits in Northern Manhattan.  We want thank him for coming to visit Isham Park that day.
The Commissioner liked the inscriptions on the benches; his favorite was:

Summer update on Isham Park and "Six to Celebrate"

First an update on "Six to Celebrate" activities since our last post just before May 25th 2011.

As that post stated, the ceremony to celebrate Julia Isham Taylor's offer to New York City of land for Isham Park on May 25th 1911 was held at the Isham Memorial in the park exactly 100 years later, on Wednesday May 25th 2011.  Readings from news articles and writings related to Julia's gift were spoken by Isham Park gardeners and volunteers and a carrot cake with the outline of the shape of the first of what would later become six parcels of  land for the park were shared on a beautiful late spring day.
The first of the six parcels of land that make up Isham Park is shaped as shown above.

Earlier the same week in May, a Pratt graduate student in Historic Preservation who had offered to volunteer decided to organize a research effort for Volunteers for Isham Park on behalf of the Historic District Council's "Six to Celebrate" study for a potential Historic District for Inwood, Manhattan.  

She enlisted the assistance of five other graduate students in the same program to do basic building research for the project. An archeologist who resides in Inwood and had contacted us to volunteer contributed a portion of the research as well.  By the end of June, most of the built structures in the area had been surveyed, resulting in a custom database organized by block and lot number giving name of the building (if named), the date built, type of structure, style, and architect.  Many of these were accompanied by photographs which we now are in the process of associating with the entries.  This was a huge effort which is ongoing.  On behalf of Inwood and Volunteers for Isham Park, we thank these generous volunteers for their work on this important research tool for Inwood, Manhattan.
Last week, July 18th - 24th, as drought and high temperatures dominated in Isham Park the need for water in the park became undeniably obvious.  Great news about water for Isham Park is coming soon...