Fordyce & Hamby Associates
An ice-skating rink and swimming pool, known as the Louis D. Lasker Memorial Pool and Rink, designed in 1963 by Fordyce & Hamby Associates and constructed within the northern section of Central Park, an English Romantic style public park designed in 1856 by Olmsted and Vaux. Application is to demolish structures and construct a new building and pool/rink, alter the landscape, and install a pergola and boardwalk.
LPC Hearing: 12/10/19 (Approved)
FRIENDS' Preservation Committee commends the Central Park Conservancy’s plans to restore the historic watercourse and landscape, reconnecting the Meer to the rest of Central Park, one of the most beloved landmarks in our city. We appreciate the Conservancy’s thorough research and thoughtful approach to this project. The current aging facilities are incongruous with the Olmsted and Vaux design, and we believe that the proposed structures will result in an overall improvement to the area, creating a more pleasant experience for the community and one closer to the intention of the original plan.
FRIENDS is, however, concerned by the lack of details on such a complex project. We would like to have a better understanding of the materials specifications, and we are particularly curious about the visual impact of the mesh infill to be used on railing and fences.
Finally, FRIENDS appreciates the Conservancy’s intent to shift the balance of the existing ice-rink to emphasize recreational skating over hockey. However, we believe that the proposed solution of using cones to delineate the rink is misguided. The lack of a permanent barrier can create an unsafe environment for recreational skaters and potentially force the local community to use the atypical fake ice pathways proposed by the applicant.