WPCNR’S KING KOMMENTS. By Councilman William King. September 9, 2002: The councilman takes a look at the White Plains downtown fountain and raises some concerns about the $3 Million fountain project described to the Common Council last week.
MAKEOVER FOR DOWNTOWN FOUNTAIN PLAZA: The White Plains Main Street and Mamaroneck Avenue fountain on Monday, September 9, 2002.
Photo by WPCNR
How sure are you of the general $#’s for the Main-Mamaroneck Fountain Plaza work? Do you know what the annual costs of operation and maintenance will be? Can you give a breakdown of the construction costs? i.e., how much to remove the 15-20 trees, how much for regrading and resurfacing, how much for demolishing the existing fountain (will the new proposed fountain utilize any of the existing underground pumps, etc.?), how much for the new fountains themselves?
SHADE TREES TO BE REMOVED: The Main and Mamaroneck Fountain as it appears in bright sunlight Monday. As part of the city’s second phase of Revitalization, the city proposes removing the present plaza and trees for a new fountain/lightshow/ plaza (See last week’s story), at a projected cost of approximately $3 Million. The fountain has been criticised by the city administration as in poor repair, dark and uninviting, and an encouragement to loiterers.
Photo by WPCNR
I went to the plaza yesterday to give it a good look, to see what actually has to be dealt with and to size it up and picture what it would look like with the new design. It struck me how many trees are there now (all of the same variety which I could not identify), how well they are actually doing in an otherwise paved-over, shady space with a lot of traffic going by, and how many pigeons actually sit up in the branches (a lot).
It struck me when I heard the church bells sounding from Grace Church that there was no way to actually see Grace Church from the Court Street side of the plaza, so thick are the trees. I wondered if it was actually necessary to cut down and uproot the trees nearest the buildings, in order to plant new trees that the landscape architect is proposing (I forgot the variety Sasaki said would do well there).
PROPOSED DESIGN, as seen from Macy’s looking back towards the City Center. The three green squares to the right are “greens,” the four blue areas are proposed fountains that would stage a “choreography of waters” at various times throughout the day and evening to recorded music.
Photo by WPCNR
In essence, I would just like to know how much would it cost to “open up” the plaza by removing most of the trees, demolishing the existing fountain, removing the earthen barrier on the Main Street side, and replanting the whole area with grass or grass and new sidewalks and how much will it cost just for the new fountains proposed? How much for regular fountains versus the high-tech, software-dependent ones?
I would like to be assured that the high-tech sound and light shows don’t cost an arm and a leg over and above everything else (would that be what Cappelli would be paying for?).
I am concerned that the City, and specifically the Downtown, also has other needs where we have to spend money, including the Community Theater at the City Center, fixing up Tibbits Park more and doing the Court Street extension. But, believe me, I would like that ugly fountain out of there quickly and the plaza area fixed up.
Councilman William King