City Agencies Announce Completion of Expansion of Montefiore Square in West Harlem

The upgraded Montefiore Plaza. Image Credit: NYC DDC.

Some of the upgrades include new benches, lighting, and trees. On January 27, 2022, the Departments of Design and Construction (DDC), Transportation (DOT), Environmental Protection (DEP), and Parks and Recreation announced the completion of renovations to Montefiore Square in Harlem. Montefiore Square is a triangular plaza located between West 138th Street, Hamilton Place and Broadway.

The plaza was expanded and tripled in size to expand toward Hamilton Place. The plaza is now 44,650 square feet. It features a 13,140 square foot lawn, over 1,000 feet of curved granite walls and 19 benches. The expansion to the plaza provides space for green markets, community festivals, and performances. Walkways are filled with new granite pavers. The plaza features new gardens and 36 new trees. Twelve new streetlights provide lighting and added safety, and a new wayfinding sign provides information about the local area. 

New plumbing and a drinking fountain have also been installed. The underground infrastructure of the plaza was upgraded as over 2,840 feet of water mains were replaced. Four catch basins were replaced and another eight were installed to reduce flooding, and six fire hydrants were replaced to improve safety and fire prevention. 

To improve pedestrian safety, 22,090 feet of sidewalks and 910 feet of curbs were reconstructed. Four curb extensions were installed to shorten crosswalk distances on Broadway between West 136th Street to West 138th street and on West 138th Street between Hamilton Place and Broadway. 

The project cost $18.4 million and was funded by DOT and DEP. DDC managed the project. 

NYC Parks Acting Commissioner Liam Kavanagh stated, “Montefiore Square has been completely transformed into a seamless and welcoming plaza that will serve as a vibrant gathering place for the West Harlem community. We thank our partners at DDC, DEP, and DOT for working to improve pedestrian safety and reconstruct every aspect of this neighborhood greenspace, from expanding the plaza to upgrading the water mains, sidewalks, and lighting.”

State Senator Robert Jackson stated, “Hallelujah! I applaud the city for completing the Montefiore Square. Our communities need this type of investment, especially with the high number of working-class families whose only option for recreation are these public open spaces. Spaces like Montefiore Square are perhaps the only haven residents have and are vital for their well-being, as well. It has been a space for community gatherings and beautification. We have missed accessing this integral part of the West Harlem community. My deep appreciation to all of our City agency partners for delivering a revamped Montefiore Square to the neighborhood.”

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)


3 thoughts on “City Agencies Announce Completion of Expansion of Montefiore Square in West Harlem

  1. To many, this is still our PARK and not a square. We will always know it as Montefiore Park! No matter what the suits downtown say!

  2. To residents of West Harlem and Sugar Hill, our beloved park will ALWAY be known as Montefiore Park (and not square).

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