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Socrates Sculpture Park Seeking Approval As Official Parkland

Source: NYC Parks

Source: NYC Parks

Jan. 14, 2016 By Michael Florio

The city plans to make Socrates Sculpture Park an officially mapped park, in order to be preserve the space from future development.

The Parks Department brought an application to officially map the outdoor sculpture museum, located off of Vernon Boulevard between Broadway and 31st Drive, before Community Board 1 on Tuesday.

While Socrates has been operating for 30 years, and under Parks Department jurisdiction since 1993, the space currently has no official zoning, according to a Parks spokeswoman.

“This action would make the park a mapped park, thereby securing it for the future,” Socrates director John Hatfield said to those at the Board meeting.

Under the proposal the city would also acquire a small lot located near the park’s entrance, on Broadway, according to Parks representative Jose Lopez. The owner of that lot, who also has the Costco property next door, has agreed to hand over the parcel to the Parks Department in exchange for development rights, Lopez said.

The park would use this lot to set up trailers that would be used for office space and children’s programming, according to Richard Khuzami, CB1’s Parks & Recreation Committee Chair.

Under the proposal there would not be physical changes to the park and it would continue to operate as is, Lopez added.

CB 1 unanimously voted in favor of this application.

“This will secure the park from any future development,” Katie Denny Horowitz, Director of Development and Communications with Socrates Sculpture Park, said. “It will preserve it going forward.”

The park, which is known for its large sculptures throughout its five acres, welcomes over 150,000 visitors per year, according to Hatfield. It hosts free programming such as the International Film Festival, the green market and yoga classes, he added.

The application now moves to the Borough President for review.

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