Pocket Parks of NYC
Zuccotti Park, a square bordered by Broadway, Trinity Place, Liberty Street and Cedar Street, has been in the news lately thanks to the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators, but do you know its history? It was formerly known as Liberty Park before it was damaged during the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center. After the cleaned up the debris, it became a staging area during the recovery efforts.
United States Steel built the original Liberty Park in 1968 in return for a height bonus for their new building, One Liberty Plaza. It was renamed Zuccotti Park after John Zuccotti, who was the chairman of Brookfield Office Properties at the time the company completed renovations of the park in 2006. Zuccotti was also the former chairman of the City Planning Commission and first deputy mayor of New York under Mayor Abe Beame.
The park is currently the base of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. Since it is public space, it does not follow the usual curfews other parks have to abide by, however due to sanitation concerns, demonstrators are no longer allowed to sleep in the park overnight.
Zuccotti Park has seating and tables, and briefly featured the World Trade Center Cross before it was moved to the permanent 9/11 Memorial. It also hosts two sculptures: Mark Di Suvero’s Joie de Vivre, and Double Check by John Seward Johnson, which is a sculpture of a businessman getting ready to start his day. In the initial hours of the 9/11 attacks, people rushed to the statue thinking it was a man covered in debris and needing aid.