City Hall Park Throws Off Its Chains

Closed for five years, a downtown oasis finally re-opens. No public executions currently scheduled.

As Blumberg walked along the fence on Chambers Street—pointing out the burial spots from when City Hall Park served as the city's first potter's field—he reflected on his five-year fight. "This is a story about responsibility," he said, earnestly. He felt obliged to act after what he calls "Giuliani's betrayal"—as an activist, he'd helped the former mayor secure roughly $2 million to renovate part of the park, only to see it closed after 9/11. (The total cost of renovating the whole park is estimated at least $12 million.)"

"This isn't over yet," Blumberg insisted. "Not until the gates are finally opened." Not until he can see his neighbors back at those chess tables or on those lawns, next to that small sign.

photo: Jorge Colombo


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"I cannot wait," he said, grinning widely.

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