Vacant lot on Main is envisioned as a park New Windsor officials seeking state grant for construction, landscaping

March 21, 1996|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

New Windsor hopes a splash of green is the first step toward revitalizing Main Street.

A vacant plot at Route 75 and Main soon could be the site of outdoor concerts and community gatherings and home to a restored water fountain, the town's signature antique.

"We see it as a focal area, a place that everyone can see is New Windsor," said Mayor Jack A. Gullo Jr.

It may even say "New Windsor" atop a wrought-iron arch at the entry to the park.

Town officials are expecting a state grant from Planned Open Space money to pay for construction and landscaping of the one-fifth-acre property.

"There is no reason why we cannot fund this entire project through POS," said Mr. Gullo, who complimented the park committee on its planning and foresight.

"You have made a lot of a little space," the mayor said, calling the park a "jewel" on the Main Street of the future. Councilwoman Rebecca Harman, committee liaison, said members would welcome ideas from residents as planning continues.

Members envision amenities such as brick paths, park benches, a new flagpole and a gazebo. Plans also call for trees, probably evergreens, to screen the edges of the park from neighboring properties.

"The gazebo would be the focal point," said Lawrence W. Johnson, client service manager for Chester Engineers, the town engineering contractor.

Last week, Mr. Johnson provided the Town Council with drawings of the park and several gazebo possibilities. He recommended a 16- to 20-foot round structure as the most practical for band concerts, and estimated the cost at about $12,000, he said.

He would position the gazebo at the south end of the park and place a flagpole and the town fountain near it "to both frame it and create a view for walkers or those driving by," Mr. Johnson said.

A Victorian-style gazebo would "most compliment town architecture and mimic the town fountain, which is an interesting artifact," he said.

The 6-foot-tall metal fountain stood for years at an intersection at High Street.

Several times, large trucks jumped the curb and knocked over the fountain. It has been in storage for several years while the town tried to find a safer place.

"The majority of the residents think the park will be the safest spot for the fountain," Ms. Harman said. "Lehigh [Cement Co.] has offered to build a foundation for it."

The fountain, which has a place in town history, ed, she said. The committee is recommending more lighting in the gazebo and along the park's edges.

Entrances would be from Main Street, which has a handicapped cut in the curbing, and at Route 75.

Paths leading to the gazebo could be made of low-maintenance bricks. At the Main Street entrance, Mr. Johnson pictures the wrought-iron arch.

A 2-foot-tall stone wall would set the park off from existing sidewalks. Low benches would line the park side of the wall.

"Benches could be metal, plastic or recycled materials," Mr. Johnson said. "They should be maintenance-free and anchored to discourage vandals."

Ms. Harman said the committee might seek donations for the benches and bricks.

"We could sell a brick with the donor's name on it," she said.

Mr. Gullo expects to have final plans ready for the council's approval at the April 3 meeting.

"This park will be a nice addition, better than the vacant wasteland we have now at the intersection," he said.

Pub Date: 3/21/96

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