Keep the sun shining: Join our “Fight for Light” Campaign

Greenacre Park is threatened with a significant loss of precious sunlight if the existing Midtown East Rezoning plan wins approval.

Tall buildings already throw shadows on the park for two to three hours daily. Left unmodified, rezoning would trigger construction of even taller buildings that would double the amount of shadow that darkens the park. It also threatens the survival of the park’s vegetation.

Seeing is believing!
This animation illustrates the impact of the Midtown East Rezoning between 1:30pm and 6:30pm. With Greenacre Park in the center, the right side clearly shows that nearly all of the afternoon sunshine will be obliterated.

Urgent! Citizen Alert!

We need you to send an email to Mayor Bill de Blasio asking him to help us save the sunlight!

Click here for a sample letter, or draft your own. Then tap Mayor de Blasio's name to send the letter. 

deblasio-1

Mayor
Bill de Blasio

Will open up in a web form.

We applaud the vision and leadership of Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Councilman Daniel Garodnick, both who have endorsed the goals of our campaign. Please send them an email to express your appreciation. Click here for a sample letter.

garodnick-1

Councilman
Daniel Garodnick

Will open up in an email.

THE PARK HAS WON BATTLES LIKE THIS BEFORE

ffl_IMG_2931

In 1980, a planned new building at 805 Third Avenue would have stood three stories higher than permitted and restricted sunlight reaching the park.

Under the leadership of Greenacre Foundation — the park’s private developer and owner — park patrons mounted a campaign to curtail the building’s height. And we won.

In rejecting the application, Planning Chairman Herbert Sturz said: “Greenacre Park is one of the most beautiful and useful private parks available to the public [and makes a] tremendous contribution…to the quality of life in this city.”

The Foundation then analyzed all nearby sites that might threaten the park’s sunlight. As a result, an adjacent property was purchased in 1985 — and then resold it with height restrictions protecting the park’s northern end.

Also, in 1987, the Durst Organization agreed to curtail any potential shade encroachment that might be triggered by its property across the street from the park.

GREENACRE PARK PLAYS A SPECIAL ROLE ON MANHATTAN’S EAST SIDE

A lovely, sunlit park is a rare joy on Manhattan’s East Side.

While an average City Council district devotes 19 percent of its total acreage to parkland, the percentage in District 4 — home of Greenacre Park — is only two percent.

Moreover, District 4 ranks 49th out of the 51 Council Districts when it comes to parks and playgrounds per 1,000 residents.

Image courtesy of Sasaki

THE “FIGHT FOR LIGHT” MOMENTUM IS BUILDING

Thanks to park advocates, Community Board 6 has urged the City Council to modify the rezoning plan to preserve the park’s sunlight.  

Also, the Municipal Art Society recently stated that the City “cannot afford to allow development under the East Midtown proposal to cast such an important resource as Greenacre Park in additional shadow.”

It’s amazing how a spot of sunshine can add beauty and joy to urban life.

We need you to help keep the momentum going by supporting the “Fight for Light” campaign!

ffl_DSC07076

217 East 51st Street | Between 2nd Avenue and 3rd Avenue
New York, NY  10022  |  212-649-5895

Follow Us!

PLEASE SELECT AND COPY THE TEXT BELOW. THEN TAP THE LINK FOR MAYOR DE BLASIO AND PASTE THE TEXT INTO THE WEB FORM.

I am writing to urge you to ensure that the Midtown East Rezoning does not adversely affect Greenacre Park on East 51st Street.  The current rezoning plan would significantly reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the park.

Developed in 1971 for public use, Greenacre Park is maintained with private funds through the generosity of Greenacre Foundation. It attracts 200,000 visitors annually, including residents, families, tourists, and members of the local workforce.

Tall buildings now cast shadows on the park for two to three hours daily. Left unmodified, the rezoning would lead to even taller buildings that would double the amount of shadow darkening the park which would forever diminish visitors’ enjoyment and threaten its beautiful vegetation. The park’s extraordinary landscaping is already at its minimum sunlight requirements. The park is the only green space of its kind in the rezoning study area. Only two percent of the acreage in Council District 4 is dedicated to parkland versus a citywide average of 19 percent.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer has told the City Planning Department that the loss of sunlight would have a “significant” adverse impact. She called on the City to “continue working with Greenacre Park to explore all options to avoid shadow impacts from new buildings.” Councilman Daniel Garodnick testified that the park is "an unusually leafy and restful place of respite for local workers and residents." The Municipal Art Society has said that the City “cannot afford to allow development under the East Midtown proposal to cast such an important resource as Greenacre Park in additional shadow.” I agree with these positions.

A modified rezoning plan would improve midtown Manhattan while also preserving Greenacre Park’s scarce sunlight. We urge you to support a modified rezoning plan that would maintain the character and appeal of this popular and essential open space.  

SELECT AND COPY THE TEXT BELOW. THEN TAP THE NAME OF THE OFFICIAL AND PASTE THE TEXT INTO YOUR EMAIL MESSAGE.

I am writing to thank you for supporting the preservation of sunlight at Greenacre Park.

I applaud you for urging the City to explore all options to avoid shadow impacts from new buildings as plans for a Midtown East Rezoning reach their conclusion.

Greenacre Park is an exceptional public space in a community that is sorely lacking a place of respite for residents and the local workforce, and I am glad that you agree.

Thank you for advocating on behalf of this beautiful park.

Sincerely,