FAB is a proud partner of the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) in transforming under-utilized spaces into public, open green spaces for use by the entire community. In September 2011 the DOT, after receiving significant community input, installed a pedestrian plaza at the Putnam Triangle on Fulton and Grand Avenue in Clinton Hill. The Putnam Triangle Plaza has been a tremendous hit with residents, merchants and shoppers. It has been transformed into a place where people eat lunch, drink coffee, play chess, and generally enjoy the neighborhood and their neighbors. It also serves as one of the venues for FAB Fridays concert series and activities for the area's children.
Now, after receiving overwhelming support from Community Board 2, a new plaza was created on Fulton Street in Fort Greene, at Fowler Square, Fulton Street, Lafayette Avenue and South Elliott Place. (More on the history and statue of General Fowler in another article.)
With the support of Council Member James, Community Board 2, area residents, property owners and businesses and institutions, and the historians and activists who were responsible for saving the statue of General Fowler in the first place, the FAB Alliance submitted a proposal for the creation of the plaza to the NYC Plaza Program of the Department of Transportation-and it was accepted. FAB continued to gather community input at 2 public workshops held in June of 2011. After those workshops, additional community outreach and vehicle and pedestrian traffic studies on the surrounding streets were conducted, which the Department of Transportation presented to the community board at a meeting on February 16, 2012.
Implementation of Plaza
To create the temporary plaza, DOT has closed the short piece of South Elliot Place, between Lafayette Avenue and Fulton Street in Fort Greene. Necessary repairs were done to the broken sidewalks and buckling concrete. Tree pits were expanded to allow more water to reach the roots of the trees. Cobblestones removed around the tree pits were saved and reinstalled to fill bare spots near the statue. South Elliott has been paved with a surface of crushed gravel that is light in color. Protective street markings have been added and granite blocks and flexible traffic “bollards” have been installed at each end to block traffic (allowing room should emergency vehicles ever need access).
Benches have been installed and 18 planters were added to provide greenery to the bustling intersection. And the ring around the statue of General Fowler has been re-landscaped with design assistance from the Horticulture Society of New York. Moveable cafe tables and chairs are available for all to use.
FAB continues to maintain the space to keep it clean of trash and litter. Recycling containers and additional trash bins have been added. Tables and chairs are secured at night and put back out in the morning 7-days a week.
NYC DOT will analyze the plaza and will report results back to the Community Board. Any issues will be worked out with the community. If the plaza is deemed a success, long-term plans will include a permanent redesign with landscape designers and architects working with the community to create a stunning gateway to Fort Greene for use by the entire community.
UPDATED 4/29/2013: Community Board 2 voted overwhelmingly to support the making of Fowler Square a permanent plaza. NYC DOT held a public design workshop on 4/24/2013 for the community to provide input on design elements and usage. The design team will come back to the community with a draft design, timing FALL/WINTER 2013.
UPDATED 10/2/2013: Second Public Workshop for the FOWLER SQUARE REDESIGN scheduled for Saturday, October 19, 2013, 11:00am- 1:00pm - presentation by the design team at 12:00noon - outdoors at Fowler Square, Fulton Street and Lafayette Avenue.
UPDATE 12/13/2013: Community Board 2 approved these proposed designs at its meeting on December 11, 2013. The project now goes before the "Public Design Commission " (PDC) for review in January 2014. For a report on the meeting and comments by the Board, see this article from DNAInfo
UPDATE 10/28/2016: The NYC Department of Design & Construction reports construction to start with contractor "Mobilization" on or about November 7, 2016.