East River Esplanade Renovations by Hospital for Special Surgery from 70th to 72nd Streets
New York, NY – Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) President and CEO Louis A. Shapiro and Council Member Ben Kallos were joined today by City officials as they cut a ribbon signaling the official opening and end of much-needed renovations to the East River Esplanade from 70th to 72nd Streets in front of the HSS main campus.
Council Member Ben Kallos Co-Chair of the East River Esplanade Taskforce and the office of Congress Member Maloney were joined by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver among others for the joyous occasion.
These improvements to the East River Esplanade by HSS were negotiated by Council Member Ben Kallos as part of the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) for new construction that were voted on and passed the City Council on July 23, 2015.
In working with Council Member Ben Kallos, HSS agreed to:
- Master Plan – Work with key community stakeholders to develop a Masterplan for the East River Esplanade from 62nd Street to 78th Street, in partnership with Rockefeller University, led by the Council Member.
- Noise Barriers - Noise barriers eight-feet in height under its East Wing Building between East 70th and East 71st Street. Water Fountain and Irrigation - Water for the Esplanade at 71st Street for a water fountain and irrigation to keep plants alive.
- Greening the Esplanade - Key esplanade improvements between 70th and 72nd include:
- New planting beds and landscaping.
- Improved lighting through repair and replacing of light fixtures.
- Repair and repainting of railings as well as new seating and paving.
- Maintenance in Perpetuity - Maintenance in perpetuity, for all improvements, provided by HSS from 70th to 72nd.
Council Member Ben Kallos Co-Chairs the East River Esplanade Taskforce with Congress Member Carolyn Maloney. Both also sit as Ex-Officio Board Members of Friends of the East River Esplanade, a conservancy to which the Council Member has directed over $170,000 in funding and brought on Board Members from Rockefeller University and HSS.
“It is wonderful to finally be able to see residents enjoy some peace and quiet, lush greenery and in a portion of the park that will be cared for by HSS forever. The sound barriers quell the noise of passing vehicles, plants that died without water are growing green from irrigation, while residents have a new water fountain,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “Thank you to HSS for their partnership with the community investing in our park space and conservancies.”
“I’m so excited to celebrate the official opening of the HSS renovations to the East River Esplanade. I want to thank HSS and Council Member Kallos for their work to make this project a success, and to make the Esplanade an even more beautiful asset to our community, “said Congress Member Carolyn Maloney, Co-Chair of the East River Esplanade Taskforce.
" We would not be here if not for the fierce and I mean fierce advocacy of New York City Council Member Ben Kallos," said Commissioner Mitchell Silver of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation."In 2015 he worked to bring HSS to this project, so a huge thank you to Ben is well deserved."
“Our local community is very important to us, and we are excited to unveil these improvements to the East River Esplanade in partnership with Council Member Kallos and our local elected officials, as well as the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. said Louis Shapiro, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hospital for Special Surgery.
“Rejuvenating this stretch of the East River Esplanade brings us one step closer to linking Manhattan’s 32 miles of waterfront,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Thanks to Council Member Kallos and Congresswoman Maloney, who secured this improvement, and to HSS for committing to take care of this public space in perpetuity, East Siders can now enjoy even more quiet, lush parkland along the river.“
HSS is nationally ranked #1 in orthopedics, and #3 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2018-19). This is the 27th consecutive year that the Hospital has been top-ranked in these specialties. In 2018, HSS had over 413,000 outpatient visits and performed over 32,500 surgeries.
In 2013, the East River Esplanade was literally falling into the river. Since 2014, Council Member Ben Kallos, who serves as co-chair of the East River Esplanade Taskforce with Congress Member Maloney, has worked with the Mayor’s Office and the Parks Department to secure nearly $200 million from the city budget and kept work on track to rebuild and expand infrastructure from 53rd to 125th Streets:
- $100 million from Mayor de Blasio to fill the gap from 53rd to 61st Streets
- $35 million secured from the city budget to repair the seawall and fix sinkholes from 60th to 125th Streets
- $26 million to rebuild Andrew Haswell Green Park from 60th to 61st Streets
- $15.3 million secured from Rockefeller University from 63rd to 68th Streets
- $1.8 million secured from Hospital for Special Surgery to renovate 70th to 72nd Street with irrigation and planters and a master plan to 78th Street
- $1.45 million from Council District 5 funding for irrigation, renovation and planters from 68th to 70th Streets
- $17.5 million to rebuild the pedestrian bridge at 81st Street
- $1 million from Council District 5 funding for irrigation from 90th to 96th Street