Friday, April 22, 2011

Decrepit Roosevelt Island Meditation Steps Patched Up - Will Renovated Meditation Steps Use Left Over Roosevelt Island Bridge Stone Like that Used For Brooklyn Bridge Park?

Updating this post on the decrepit condition of the Roosevelt Island Meditation Steps with holes

where  wooden planks should be, reader Mike G reported yesterday morning:
I walked by this morning, and it looks like all the rotten spots are patched. The tape is down.

I'm guessing the "2012" date is for a more thorough refurbishment, but it looks like the steps are back in business now.
Mike is right. I walked by the Meditation Steps yesterday afternoon to find the holes in the wooden planks have been patched over.

Reader Gregor succinctly states:
Thanks RIOC!
Roosevelt Island Operating Corp. (RIOC) Vice President of Operations Fernando Martinez responded to inquiry earlier this week by reporting:
We have ordered wood to repair the meditation steps.  It is our plan to completely renovate the entire area, late this year or early 2012.
Roosevelt Island Historical Society President Judy Berdy has an idea to use the left over stone from the Roosevelt Island Bridge rehabilitation project as was done at the Brooklyn Bridge Park Steps for the renovation of Roosevelt Island's Meditation Steps:
These stone steps are from the RI Bridge. Wouldn't it be nice if steps such as these replaced our deteriorated Meditation Steps!
Image of Brooklyn Bridge Park Steps from Judy Berdy

Image of Brooklyn Bridge Park Steps from Judy Berdy

More pictures of the Roosevelt Island Bridge stone used for Brooklyn Bridge Park Steps from Ms. Berdy.

Design Observer interviews one of the architects of the Brooklyn Bridge Park and provides some history on how the Roosevelt Island Bridge stone got to Brooklyn Bridge Park:
... BD: The part of the park that seems to catch the imagination of visitors is the monumental granite prospect facing out towards the harbor. I've read that the stone was recycled from an old bridge here in New York. How did you find the material and repurpose it?

MU: This stone provides yet another example of involving our client as a resource. The New York State Department of Transportation was in the process of recladding the Roosevelt Island Bridge; because of the high-profile nature of our project, we were able to obtain the old granite, again only for the cost of trucking. Joshua Laird was instrumental in helping us here as well.

BD: The stone is beautiful. You can still see the iron stains and discolorations from its earlier life.

MU: Yes. But one point to emphasize is that it's extremely hard to use recycled material. The material is cheaper to buy, but the effort required to repurpose it is significant. On our end, the work to get the stone, take stock of it, measure it and then mesh our design intent with the dimensions and quantities of the existing material — this was demanding. So was the labor of the masons — cutting the stone and grinding it down. I can't say that the recycled material was a cheaper solution; but it is beautiful, and it is environmentally responsible to reuse what exists. And it reweaves some of the historical threads of the city, in a subtle way....
The Brooklyn Bridge Park is a beautiful example of a great new waterfront park. If you haven't been there do yourself a favor and go soon.