Landmark Commission Approves Parks Plan

Washington Square Park is another step closer to getting its $16-million dollar redesign, now that the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission has voted to approve a Parks Department plan. WNYC's Kathleen Horan has more.

REPORTER: A fence would still be built around the park, but the parks department has scrapped one of the most controversial parts of the plan: permanent gates to lock the fence at night. Instead, moveable metal barriers would be used.

Concerned residents say they're in favor of much needed repairs and greener grass but that moving and raising the fountain and removing the stage would alter the character of the park. Doris Diether has lived near the park for forty seven years. She says the design is too rigid

DIETHER: The musicains play there, kids play there, poets read there poetry there - I mean it's an active park - it's not a place where you just go and sit.

REPORTER: The Parks Department's Architect noted that the Square's history is defined by change. But, the area's Councilman Allan Gerson is calling for compromises on the fence and playgrounds. Otherwise, he says he'll move to with-hold as much as 1.5 million dollars of the council's allocation.