August 31, 2016

TRYGVE LIE PLAZA Gets a Refurb

Trygve Lie Plaza may not ring a bell for many Tudor City folks, but this block-long park lies directly behind No. 25 on First Avenue. Originally occupied by warehouse buildings, the land was acquired by the Parks Department in 1948 as part of the beautification of the area concurrent with the arrival of the United Nations. (The plaza is named after Norwegian statesman Trygve Lie, the UN's first Secretary General).

It's on this blog today as it's just been renovated for the first time since it opened in 1950. Making the narrow site into a park was not without major challenges -- a busy avenue on one side, the 22-story Tudor Tower on the other, major steam lines running below ground -- but the end result was pleasant enough, especially if you enjoy watching cars go by. The refurb hasn't altered the original design, but has definitely freshened it up -- and added a new piece of sculpture.
The NYC Parks Department plan, showing specific details of the $1.8 million renovation
The restored park, shiny and new, anchored by the Peace Clock. 11 AM.


The centerpiece of the restoration is a new kinetic sculpture, the Peace Clock, by Norwegian artist Lina Viste Grønli. Although called a clock, it does not keep exact time. It lives up to its name twice a day -- at 4:30 AM and 4:30 PM -- when its hands form the Peace Sign. 

Below, its position during other hours.




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