Information about this lot
Why is this lot here?
We think this lot is vacant because:
- The lot was added manually by site admins.
You can use this form to suggest uses that the community actually wants to see as concessions in this building:
NYC Parks will consider your fantastic ideas and you should also share them as notes below and become an Organizer so you can connect with others to make the futures we imagine real! Keep in mind that NYC Parks isn't going to do your project for you.
Opening buildings costs money and NYC Parks' has a limited budget. Here is a great guide to how to get money for your NYC Parks building stewardship project, created by the Center for Urban Pedagogy, New Yorkers for Parks and Partnerships for Parks: http://welcometocup.org/file_columns/0000/0613/improve_my_park.pdf. Follow the tips for "Capital Projects."
Getting your Council Member on board is key: they have money to give out every year via their discretionary budget; some Members allocate some of their discretionary money to Participatory Budgeting: https://council.nyc.gov/pb/. You can get involved to get the word out about the need to re-activate the building you want to steward.
The building might be landmarked. If it is, any work will need to comply with these rules: http://www1.nyc.gov/site/lpc/applications/applications.page
Talks Begin to Restore Sara D. Roosevelt Park's Stanton Street Storehouse
By Allegra Hobbs | September 7, 2017 5:47pm
The Parks Department building on Stanton Street is currently being used for storage.
The Parks Department building on Stanton Street is currently being used for storage.
View Full CaptionDNAinfo/Allegra Hobbs
LOWER EAST SIDE — Decades after activists began imploring the city to turn over a derelict storage facility in Sara D. Roosevelt Park, the gears are finally turning on a prospective plan to transform the storehouse for community use.
The Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coalition has been lobbying for the restoration of the Parks Department building on Stanton Street since 1994, beginning with the addition of much-needed public restrooms.
Last week, the coalition sat down for a meeting with the Parks Department to talk about the potential changes. The department has said it is attempting to unload the storehouse to facilitate the transformation.
The coalition merged with other neighborhood organizations last summer to form a "task force" to discuss potential uses for the building, including a youth center or a drop-in center for the local homeless.
The department earlier this year kicked off the design process ahead of restoring the restrooms — construction is slated to begin in fall 2018 and the bathrooms should be complete about a year later — but had remained noncommittal on the fate of the rest of the facility despite calls to turn it into a community center of sorts, saying only that it was needed for storage.
But the Parks Department's Manhattan's Borough Commissioner Bill Castro revealed at a mayoral town hall in June that the department was in fact "very sincerely looking" for a new storage facility in order to unload the Stanton Street building's supplies.
Last week, city representatives agreed to meet with the coalition, said the coalition's president, who noted that everyone is on board with transforming the building but that the obstacle of moving the storage space is preventing the project from moving forward.
"Everyone was in agreement," said Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coalition president Kay Webster. "The big issue is finding a space for Manhattan Parks storage"
Parks Department spokeswoman Crystal Howard said the department has not found a new storage facility but would continue to look, and also noted the Stanton Street storehouse is a "distribution hub" that is "essential for borough-wide operations."
advocates for this building just sent us this email:
Hello Susan and Paula of NYCommons - Common Cause, 596 Acres and Urban Justice Center!
We were notified that we are one of the five finalists (out of 105 entries) for the Design Trust for Public Space’s “Public for All” to present on Tuesday July 11th!
The Design Trust press release is attached and details to attend the Public Panel (at the bottom of the email). Come by!
We are in good company - already this has been a win/win for us, gathering more support and attention for the project!
Again, our thanks - your support has been of central importance!
from Design Trust for Public Space's press release:
Title: Return of the Stanton Building
Proposer: The Stanton Task Force including Green Map System, Sara Roosevelt Park Community Coalition, and University Settlement
The Stanton Building of Sara Roosevelt Park in the Lower East Side of Manhattan was one of the many NYC Park Houses (40 in Manhattan alone), which were community centers until the 1970s, when the City almost went bankrupt and could no longer maintain them. Today the Stanton Building is used as storage for the NYC Parks. This project would redesign the Stanton Building as a multi-use community hub assisting homeless people, serving as a climate emergency education and response center, or a flexible meeting space for a myriad of neighborhood needs, while envisioning a citywide model for reclaiming underutilized public space.
“Planning for the future use of the Stanton Street Park Building will allow the community to play an active role in the building’s design and future use and maximize public space while integrating community members who often do not see the interconnectedness of their lives. Designing the Stanton Street building to serve as a resource for our homeless neighbors, while also providing programming to the larger community, can serve as a future model for how to use public space to foster greater community integration and understanding,” said Laura Timme, Associate Executive Director, University Settlement.
Long-Awaited Bathrooms in Stanton Storehouse Coming in 2019, City Says
By Allegra Hobbs | March 6, 2017 10:14am
LOWER EAST SIDE — More than two decades after community activists began rallying for the restoration of a derelict storage facility in Sara D. Roosevelt Park, the city is kicking off work to restore the building's bathrooms for public use.
The department is launching the design phase of the refurbished bathrooms coming to the Stanton Street building — reps will pitch the plan at a Community Board 3 Parks Committee meeting on March 16, and plan to finalize the design by this fall, according to a Parks Department spokeswoman.
Construction is slated to begin fall 2018 and will wrap up about a year later, she added.
The building has sat largely unused since the 1980s aside from providing storage space for the Parks Department. The Sara D. Roosevelt Parks Coalition in 1994 began advocating for the building to be fixed up and returned to the community as a recreation center, beginning with the bathrooms, which community members have said are sorely needed in the park.
The park has one public restroom on Hester Street, near the southern end of the park, while a facility on Broome Street remains out of order due to a sewage problem. Repairs to the Broome Street building are in the procurement phase, a Parks spokeswoman said.
The department has been unresponsive to the community's demands for a community center in the building, stating the facility is needed for storage.
The president of the Sara D. Parks Coalition said the group is "thrilled" the plans for the much-needed restrooms are progressing, but will continue to advocate for the the restoration of the entire facility for community use.
"We love to share with all of NYC, but it’s really too big a burden for this neighborhood and narrow park to be asked to have almost all of our buildings resources devoted to out-of-neighborhood needs," said Kay Webster, adding some advocates are interested in using part of the space as a drop-in center open to the local homeless as well as a bike repair and solar-powering station.
Activists had previously floated the idea of converting the space into a youth center.
NYCommons & Sara D Roosevelt Park Coalition Workshop on Strategies to assist in the Return the Stanton Park Building to the Public
Wednesday, July 13 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
At 30 Delancey Street between Forsyth and Chrystie Streets inside Sara Roosevelt Park!
Join us for workshops offering information, strategies, tools, discussions, snacks, neighbors – what could be better? We will specifically be focusing on this piece of our NYC Parks infrastructure: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/6000010013/ (the Stanton Street Building in Sara D Roosevelt Park), a social center built in the 1930s that has been closed to the public and used as storage for decades, a victim of the disinvestment of the 1970s and 1980s. We are still living in the long shadow of those times.
In a neighborhood with dwindling shared spaces, residents would like their building back. They say, "Could we reimagine this decrepit building and the container carton alongside it, with cars and trucks in the park 24/7 that now attracts traffic drive-throughs and misuse, as a resiliency hub? a homeless services ‘urban hub’? local meeting space? a wild bird conservation center? indigenous plant center, youth center? with bathrooms that are maintained and serviced 24/7?"
All of these? Your ideas?
Imagine the building with those window reglazed, the doors fixed, the brick repointed, a greenroof with solar panels? with back -up chargers available for the next Superstorm? with Wi-Fi available to the neighborhood and chairs and tables and plants in front to attract positive shared use?"
Sign, Spanish, Mandarin, and Cantonese interpretation available.
Here is more about the campaign that 596 Acres has helped revive through the NYCommons project: http://bedfordandbowery.com/2016/07/lower-east-side-community-imagines-a-future-for-sara-d-roosevelt-parks-stanton-building/
And more on the Sara D Roosevelt Park Coalition: http://sdrpc.mkgarden.org/
Great press covering last week's event and advertising workshops for next steps: http://bedfordandbowery.com/2016/07/lower-east-side-community-imagines-a-future-for-sara-d-roosevelt-parks-stanton-building/
Blue-Sky Thinking Guides a Push to Turn LES Park Building Into a Community Center
JULY 7, 2016
BY CASSIDY DAWN GRAVES
On the northern side of Sara D. Roosevelt Park sits a large brick structure. Once a youth center, the Stanton Building was shut down during a time of high crime in the Lower East Side and is now used only for storage by the Parks Department. Since the late ’90s, there’s been talk of returning it to community use, but that has yet to happen. So, Wednesday afternoon, a group of local activists gathered outside of the building in what was the first of three events intended to stimulate collective planning about its future.
“We’re continually trying to reclaim this space as a park space instead of a parking lot,” said K. Webster, president of the Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coalition. “Honest to God, I just want it to be what the people want it to be. The park anchors the area. It makes it safer.”
Despite $1 million allotted to new restrooms (in the design phase, as of May), no one at Wednesday’s brainstorming session seemed particularly thrilled about the building’s current state. Rather than wringing their hands about it, the Stanton Building Task Force and NYCommons had brought together other local organizations to poll local residents about their thoughts. The event was bustling: folks set up small tables with information, a small group did Zumba routines in the bright summer sun, and members of the youth program of Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens (LUNGS) wheeled around fresh soil, planting seedlings where there previously were none.
“I think it’s time the city gives it up and gives it to people who can really use it, gives something to people in their community,” said Aziz Dehkan, executive director of the NYC Community Gardening Coalition. “We would all love to have a little piece of this. It’s a great space and it should be used.”
Wendy E. Brawer, founding director of Green Map System, a nonprofit that creates maps of green living sites and natural resources, told me she was interested in using the Stanton Building space to equip the community with resiliency skills, especially because it’s one of the few public spaces located outside of the flood zones below Houston. “There aren’t places to learn these skills in the community. You can learn art, you can learn dance, [but] it’s really hard to find a place where you can even learn bike repair,” she said. “Imagine you’re a senior, you’ve got one of those little carts and it’s squeaking and breaking, you [could] get that fixed here too. It’s such a shame to make it a storehouse for decade after decade in a neighborhood where we’re losing our community spaces.”
Brawer’s husband keeps bees on the roof of the Sixth Street Community Center right next to a community garden, and brought some of his own local honey for passersby to try. Brawer said beekeeping skills could also be taught in a building like this.
Similarly to Brawer, Josh of the Mechanical Gardens Bike Co-Op is interested in a space for resilience training. His co-op has no concrete location, and he sees the Stanton Building as a perfect spot. “A co-op makes sense as a community space not only for this neighborhood’s history of bike activism but also it’s where all these other spokes of social justice kind of come together,” he told me. “If you’re talking about community resilience from storms and disasters, economic self-sufficiency for families, access and mobility for jobs, gender and language leveling and balancing, all these come together around the hub of the co-op. Especially a neighborhood like this one that has so many different kinds of personalities and characters.”
This building isn’t the only one of its kind, and it’s not even the only one in the neighborhood. The folks at 569 Acres, an organization empowering the community to take unused public land into their own hands, told me they had mapped out eleven buildings in the vicinity that were either not being used for anything or being used for miscellaneous storage.
“We’re letting people know how they can access land, it’s available. We have a map online that shows all the boroughs, and we’ve mapped out all the open lots in the city. So it’s a way for the community to get in there and start organizing,” said Francisco, who is part of 569 Acres. He thinks a good use for the Stanton Building would be to shelter homeless people, who already have a fairly steady presence in the park.
When Community Board 3 identified the Stanton Building’s adaptation as a capital priority, it noted a “serious lack of community spaces” in the area. On Wednesday, Charles Krezell, who is involved with LUNGS, agreed that the community needed all the space it could get. “We’re being squeezed everywhere, no one can afford anything. There can be a lot of things developed out of here that aren’t. If the city opened up the spaces they already had, they could really building affordable housing just within city property. [But] it’s a moneymaking city. Who’s side are they on?”
On July 13, there will be a workshop event that will take this imagining to the next level, where people will discuss the logistics behind the city’s parks and learn how to develop skills to build a grassroots campaign. On July 27, there will be a workshop where attendees can learn more about public spaces and how to ensure they remain accessible to the community. Both events are at 6:30pm in the BRC Center at 30 Delancey Street.
Community Board 3's 2017 District Needs statement (http://www.nyc.gov/html/mancb3/downloads/cb3docs/fy_2017_needs_statement.pdf) included this:
Some Parks Department buildings in our community are used as store houses for citywide Parks operations. CB 3 already has so few community facilities, our local park houses should not bear this unfair burden for other neighborhoods.
Three out of four Parks buildings in Sara D. Roosevelt Park are used for Citywide Parks storehouse and supply centers, and one is used as a central communication center
Stanton Street building at Sara D. Roosevelt Park is being used for a storehouse and should be transitioned to a community facility for community programming
Toilets in CB 3 parks, recreational fields, playgrounds and park buildings with park programming are badly needed.
Store no More: It’s Time to Reactivate ‘Stanton Building’ in Sara D. Roosevelt Park, Locals Say
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Posted on: July 6th, 2016 at 5:10 am by Elie
For decades, the city has hogged the so-called “Stanton Building” situated at the trail head of Sara D. Roosevelt Park. Its current use is Parks Department storage and de-facto parking lot for city vehicles. Since 1994, though, the eponymous Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coalition has fought to reactivate this structure for community accessibility. Efforts to do so are finally gaining some traction.
The onsite public bathrooms may soon reopen, thanks to an allocation of $1 million in city funding. Councilwoman Margaret Chin and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer helped make that happen, which should curb the excess exrement consistently found in the park. Renovations are currently in the design phase.
But local activists remain laser-focused on the end-game. Eye on the prize – returning and re-energizing the building for the community. The nascent Stanton Building Task Force, an outgrowth of the Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coaltion, is spearheading the latest effort with a series of visioning sessions on its future. Today is the first event (full schedule below) in tandem with “It’s My Park Day.” Such efforts to rescue the facility are backed by Community Board 3, yet staunchly opposed by the Parks Department due to purported lack of alternative options.
“The building should serve its original purpose as a space for the neighborhood to use for the public good as it was intended (and the Manhattan Park’s Commissioner has agreed in theory, they just don’t know where to put the storage),” Coalition president Kathleen Webster tells us. “We have large organizations that have the capacity to program it; we have $1 million in funding from electeds to put the bathrooms in. And still waiting. It’s a lousy storage space (hence the large container alongside it) but a great potential public facility.”
It’s gonna be a long road ahead, for sure, but not impossible. After all, the BRC’s Senior Services Center down on Delancey was similarly returned to the community in the 1980s after years of sitting empty and without funding.
The Stanton Building once upon a time housed a youth center, but became a Parks storehouse in the 1980s. There were promises from the Parks commish in the mid-1990s to hand back the property, but that never happened. A subsequent article in the Village Voice from that period – “How the Other Half Plays” (not online) – summed up the situation:
“That building there is a warehouse for city supplies, but we can’t get a mop out of there if we want one” [longtime park advocate Bob] Humber says. That should change when the warehouse becomes a rec center with Ping-Pong tables, a nursery, a theater and a “safe haven” program for neighborhood kids. “We’ve been waiting for so long, now we just can’t wait till it happens…”