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Central Park Conservancy’s Proposed Reconstruction of the Fort Clinton and Nutter’s Battery Overlooks

At the regularly scheduled monthly meeting of Community Board Five on Thursday, October 10, 2013, the following resolution passed with a unanimous vote of 38 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, The Central Park Conservancy ("CPC") has presented to Community Board Five an overview of their proposed reconstruction of the Fort Clinton and Nutter's Battery Overlooks, located south of the Harlem Meer near the Park entrance at 106th Street and Fifth Avenue; and

WHEREAS, The Conservancy has already begun restoration of the Fort Landscape surrounding these overlooks, and the project is one of the last phases of their ongoing restoration of the upper park landscape stretching from the Metropolitan Museum to the Harlem Meer; and

WHEREAS, Fortifications were first built on these sites during the Revolutionary War, and were rebuilt during the War of 1812, and were on either side of a narrow opening that would become known as McGown's Pass, the primary passage connecting the city to points north; and

WHEREAS, The remains of these fortifications were integrated into the design of Central Park in 1863, with two 18th- century cannons installed in 1906; and

WHEREAS, In the 1920s and 30s, the sites were overgrown, left to deterioration, and fenced off with a chain link fence; and were redesigned in the 1940s to include a masonry wall in a rustic style, bluestone coping, asphalt paving, and staircases and new paths to increase accessibility; and

WHEREAS, This redesign also resulted in some areas being surrounded with a steel picket fence, and with concrete benches installed; and

WHEREAS, The proposed reconstruction is the first that would take place in these sites since 1945, with most of the stone components crumbling or missing entirely; and

WHEREAS, This project has the following stated design goals:

  1. Improve the function of the sites as overlooks and destinations
  2. Better integrate the overlooks with the Fort Landscape; and

WHEREAS, The proposed alteration and restoration work in Fort Clinton includes:

WHEREAS, The proposed alteration and restoration work in Nutter's Battery includes:

WHEREAS, The budget for this project is projected at $265,000, to be funded by the Conservancy and the City; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five supports the proposed reconstruction and restoration work; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That Community Board Five recommends approval of Central Park Conservancy's Proposed Reconstruction of the Fort Clinton and Nutter's Battery Overlooks; and be it further

RESOLVED, That Community Board Five encourages the Central Park Conservancy to return for review of their plan for informational and interpretive signage in the area to improve the public's appreciation of the historical significance of the project sites.

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