On November 8, 2010, community leaders and state and city officials gathered to cut the ribbon on the new DeLury Square. Located at the intersection of Fulton and Gold Streets in historic downtown Manhattan, the park was built as part of a larger effort to provide more green oases among the neighborhood’s skyscraper canyons.
The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation provided nearly $2.3 million to transform a small plaza and a dangerous intersection into an open space that could be enjoyed by the residents, workers and the multitude of tourists who pass through the area. Southbridge Towers, which owned the bulk of the previous plaza, sold its 5,800 square foot space to the city to make the construction of the park possible.
The 8,850 square feet park was named after John DeLury Sr., who founded Local 831 of the Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association in 1956 and was its president until 1978. The park is an expansion of the former plaza at the same location honoring John DeLury and its sanitation workers. The union’s headquarters are located nearby.
The visual focal point of the park, a fountain made of jagged boulders, brings the soothing sounds of falling water into the park and helps mask the noise of the busy streets. Landscape architect Alex Hart kept almost all of the mature sycamore trees in the park, while adding more lush plantings to go alongside a meandering path. Benches and a stone table with seating make the park an inviting place for a rest.
Since its construction, the park is filled on a daily basis with a diverse crowd talking with their friends, eating their lunch and getting their daily fill of greenery, something that was impossible to find in the vicinity before the construction of DeLury Square Park. – Amy Greenhouse