By Julie Shapiro
FINANCIAL DISTRICT — Titanic Park reopened to the public last week after an 11-month renovation.
The small triangular park at Pearl and Fulton streets has new oval seating area, bluestone sidewalks and tidal grasses that recall the area’s history as Manhattan’s shoreline. In the spring, a water feature will run over the park’s colored concrete and river stones.
"It looks like a little oasis," said Julie Brunner Cross, 40, a Brooklyn resident, as she passed through the park at the entrance to the South Street Seaport Monday afternoon.
Her friend, Kerstin Krall, 38, agreed.
"It’s a beautiful place to sit and read a book," Krall said.
The $917,000 renovation, funded by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. and the city Economic Development Corp., also included necessary infrastructure upgrades.
The most prominent feature of the park, a lighthouse commemorating the 1,517 people killed when the Titanic sank, remains in place.
Just .15 acre in size, Titanic Park is located on what was once an oyster-rich tidal zone occupied by Native Americans. As Manhattan’s shoreline expanded eastward, buildings went up on the site of the park, but they were later torn down to widen the adjacent streets, the Parks Department said.
The more recent incarnation of Titanic Park opened in the 1970s, when the large lighthouse monument arrived. Previously, the lighthouse memorial, dedicated the year after the Titanic sank, sat atop the Seamen’s Church Institute building nearby. The metal sphere at the top of the lighthouse dropped every day at noon so that sailors in New York Harbor could tell the time.
Titanic Park is one of several refurbished public spaces the city is planning along the Fulton Street corridor. A couple blocks west at Fulton and Gold streets, DeLury Square Park just opened last month.