HUDSON SQUARE — The long-awaited transformation of Hudson Square Plaza into a tree-lined park with plenty of seating is officially underway — and community members can look forward to swivel seats and moonlight-imitating night lighting by fall 2018.
The New York City Parks Department officials and Hudson Square Connection on Tuesday broke ground at the triangular plaza at Spring Street and Sixth Avenue, re-dubbed Spring Street Park, signaling the start of the $6 million makeover of the half-acre space aimed at increasing open space in the area.
The design from Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects will include swivel chairs inspired by seating in European parks, said the president of Hudson Square Connection, plus some special light posts to create the "dappling" affect of moonlight through the park's trees.
"We have swivel seats that are coming in — they have them in parks in Paris and Barcelona, and they're really social," said Ellen Baer, noting the swivel chairs will be a first for city open space. "They're very unusual, and you'll see them here for the first time in a New York park."
The "moonlighting" posts will also be a first for New York City, according to designer Signe Nielsen — just as sunlight filtering through tree branches casts a serene shadow during the day, the moonlight lamps will have the same affect at night at the park's entrance.
The renovated park will feature "moonlight"-like lighting. (Hudson Square Connection/Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects)
"The idea of moonlighting is that you don't see a lot of fixtures and it comes like moonlight," said Nielsen. "It's just a regular light fixture, but it's really tall. The idea is it'll hopefully cast a beautiful shadow on the ground."
The renovated park's benches will also come with "under bench" lighting, said Baer.
The park will feature anti-flooding infrastructure allowing the absorption of 1,140 percent more storm water.
The monument to General Jose Artigas will be moved to a more central location in the plaza, according to the Parks Department.