Design Commission signs off on plans for plaza in Glendale

Design Commission signs off on plans for plaza in Glendale
Photo by Sarina Trangle
By Sarina Trangle

Pedestrians may soon have a haven in Glendale.

The City Design Commission approved final design plans Monday for a pedestrian plaza near Glendale Memorial Triangle. The project calls for closing 70th Street to cars between Cooper and Myrtle avenues while expanding and enhancing the commemorative park.

The project emerged from the Ridgewood Local Development Corp.’s 2009 application to the city Department of Transportation’s Plaza Program, where the city partners with nonprofits to plan the transformation and maintenance of social public spaces.

The city Department of Design and Construction said it could now begin preparing a bid for the construction work. DDC anticipates the project will last 18 months, but did not give a cost estimate for the bid.

Construction workers will use scorched or tinted concrete to delineate where the plaza begins and ends and install benches, an old-fashioned drinking fountain and light poles, according to Theodore Renz, executive director of the Ridgewood LDC.

He said a ring of circular granite blocks would surround the bronze monument, which was created in 1921 to honor Glendale residents who died in World War I.

The project also includes planting trees and greenery in the park and adding moveable chairs and tables to the plaza during the day, Renz said.

Community Board 5 Chairman Vincent Arcuri Jr. said he was particularly excited about a stand that will elevate trees during future Christmas tree lighting ceremonies. He said the current setup leads to evergreens eclipsing the monument.

“It’s similar to what they do at the Rockefeller Center, but not as large,” Arcuri said. “We’re hoping it becomes the real center of Glendale.”

Renz said the business community has largely been pleased with the 71st Avenue Triangle currently fashioned into a pedestrian plaza.

The Myrtle Avenue Queens Business Improvement District successfully applied to enlist the area in the Plaza Program in 2011. At that point, a new component of the city initiative allowed applicants to temporarily block cars from pedestrian plazas while the permanent plans are hammered out.

Renz said the 71st Avenue Triangle, which reserves 71st Avenue between Stephen Street and Myrtle Avenue for pedestrians, has been cordoned off since September 2012 and spruced up with amenities.

“These plazas are going to be an integral part of community events, as well as a place for shoppers to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee or a Danish,” said Renz, who also works as the executive director of the Myrtle Avenue BID. “We intend to have Wi-Fi so students can come and do their papers.”

Reach reporter Sarina Trangle at 718-260-4546 or by e-mail at [email protected].

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