NEW BROADWAY BENCHES


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by reid spagna

the city's parks department recently installed public benches at sections of the broadway mall, the median that separates the two lanes of broadway.

five sets of benches have been installed at the malls bordering broadway's intersections with west 79th, 86th and 91st streets. these latest amenities resulted from the efforts of the parks department and the broadway mall association, a non-for-profit tasked with the beautification of broadway's green spaces.

the broadway mall's new seating arrangements are custom-built to replicate the "world fair" benches of 1948, with bright wood planking and no arm or back rests. each set of benches arcs in a semicircle, allowing residents to face each other during conversation. the benches were built with their foot-ins straddling the mall's subway grate, increasing the semicircular diameter to accommodate more people.

the benches were designed by engineer tim lynch and brad romaker, the administrative project manager from the parks department.

after backing their installation in several community board meetings, council member gale brewer called the benches "fabulous" and "absolutely gorgeous."

"i have received so many calls, and people have been very positive about them," brewer said while viewing the west 86th street benches.





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