Via Central Park Conservancy
Central Park’s Lasker pool and ice rink is set to undergo a major makeover, funded collectively by the Central Park Conservancy and the city. As first reported by the Daily News, the pool and rink will close for construction in 2020 for three years. The refurbishment will better connect the North Woods and the Harlem Meer, both currently blocked from one another by the rink.
Aerial view of existing pool and rink (top); Conceptual plan for reenvisioned pool and rink (bottom). Via Central Park Conservancy.
Donald Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, runs the skating rink, but their concession expires in 2021. During the summer months, the rink turns into a public pool, operated by the city’s Parks Department.
The city will provide $50 million for the project, with the conservancy funding the rest from private donations. So far, $25 million has been raised. “This is a facility that has been plagued with problems quite frankly since it was built in the ’60s,” Elizabeth Smith, president of the Central Park Conservancy, told the Daily News. “This is really heavily used facility, and we think it will be a marvelous addition to the communities around the northern end of the park.”
Existing view toward Harlem Meer from Huddlestone Arch (top); Conceptual view (bottom). Via Central Park Conservancy.
The project would reconnect the Ravine and the 11-acre Harlem Meer, which were cut off when Lasker was constructed in 1966. The area’s transformation would expand the recreational options beyond just skating and swimming. Currently, renderings of the project are only conceptual, with the final design developed in collaboration with the surrounding community.
“We are proud to have earned the public’s confidence over the course of nearly 40 years restoring, managing, and enhancing Central Park — and we are excited to see the impact of this transformational project for all New Yorkers,” Thomas Kempner, chair of the Conservancy’s Board of Trustees, said.
The park’s Belvedere Castle closed this winter for its first renovation since 1983 in order for the Conservancy to address cracked pavement, leaks and plumbing issues. It will be off-limits to the public until 2019.
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