The idea for this special children’s place was the brainchild of Adrienne Goldberg and Judy Magida, who four years ago turned to the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter and the Center for Architecture Foundation located across the street from the park for inspiration. They took school aged children participating in the Foundation’s summer camp into the park and developed ideas for ‘the most fun’ children’s garden.
The campers transformed their ideas into paintings, which were later translated into designs by students in a Master’s level landscape architecture class at Columbia University, led by Adrian Smith. An overwhelming favourite emerged based on one child’s depiction of a friendly dragon in the garden.
In 2008, Adrienne Goldberg, an artist, teacher and long-time Villager, died and the project was momentarily halted. But the Friends of La Guardia Place restarted the project with the help of Adrian Benepe, Commissioner of Parks, which is now named in her honor. AECOM is the Landscape Architect for the project and Horizon Designs is the Play Piece Designer.
At the groundbreaking on Wednesday, Lawrence Goldberg, Friends of La Guardia Place President said: “This is a very special moment. This will be a great addition to the Champs Elysees of New York, and a special memory to Adrienne Goldberg. We look forward to the generations of children playing here.”
Group image shows William Castro, Manhattan Borough Commissioner, Parks; Alan Gerson, former NYC Council Member; XXX Community Board 2; Deborah Glick NYS Assembly Member; Lawrence Goldberg, President, Friends of LaGuardia Place; Margaret Chin, NYC Council Member; Lori Ardito, First Deputy Commissioner, DOT; Alexis Goldberg, Daughter of Adrienne Goldberg; Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President; Tobi Bergman