Three years ago, neighbors on Great Jones St. took it upon themselves to brighten up one of several Lafayette St. planters left unclaimed after the installation of the bike lane on Lafayette St.
Until this spring it looked like a natural extension of Lafayette Grande Cafe & Bakery’s sidewalk landscaping and, in fact, was regularly watered by the restaurant personnel.
Except for the gardeners, nobody really knew how it came to be. There was no sign commemorating the donation, which led to an unfortunate series of events that replaced it with red and pink gerraniums.
Cordelia Person, Executive Director of the NoHoNY BID had secured a grant from Councilmember Margaret Chin to rejuvenate planters in the NoHoNY BID area, which included the tree pits along the Lafeyette St. bike lane. Since the installation, not a single Lafayette St. planter had been adopted for sponsorship by commercial BID members, as was the DOT plan at the time. Both the BID’s initiative and the Councilmember’s interest in beautifying NoHo are to be applauded in that regard. But the result looks more like a Mid-Western shopping mall than historic NoHo.
As an apology, the NoHo BID is willing to coordinate plantings along Lafayette St. with an advisory committee from NoHo-Bowery Stakeholders (hopefully including at least one of the artful gardeners from Great Jones St.) to plant perennials this Fall – like the ones seen above – from their remaining budget and perhaps a bit from the Stakeholders as well – donations are welcome.
SO, now it’s your turn. Contact us if you would be interested in being on our Committee. It will take very little time, but the effort to bring some unity and aesthetic distinction to Historic (and even contemporary) NoHo will be a benefit to all.
If you’d like a little background on NYC plantings…and some inspiration here’s the “Streets Design Manual.”