Capsouto Park 2009
A collaborative effort by Zimmerman and Gail Wittwer-Laird of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, Albert Capsouto Park is a landscaped one-acre site defined by a 120-long by 10-foot-wide stone and water “canal.” Titled Canal Waterworks, it refers to the canal that was once located there when New York City was contained in the area known as 5 Corners.
The park is located at the intersection of Canal, Varick, and Laight Streets in Tribeca. Engraved panels at each of its three entrances describe the history of the site from early settlement to current times. It was named to honor Albert Capsouto, a Tribeca resident who, over the past 30 years, became an important figure in the growth of Tribeca.
The park is designed around Zimmerman’s water feature. The Canal and Laight Street entrance, on the east side of the park, is near the termination of the 'canal' steps. The Varick and Canal Street entrance at the northwestern corner of the park is where the watercourse starts. A stone ‘tank,’ 12 feet high by 12 feet wide, feeds the cascading waterworks and is reminiscent of historic water tanks. The location of the course, paralleling Canal Street, honors the history of the site and is the linear spine for the curvilinear planting beds designed by the artist and Witter-Laird.
At any given time the park is used by divergent groups of people. In the park the din of traffic is muffled by the waterfalls, and one can sit alone or with friends in the landscape and escape the visual and aural bombardment that define both the vibrancy and sometimes over-whelming nature of the city.
The sidewalks along the park exterior are lined with typical New York City street trees. Inside the park, flowering shrubs border the paved walkways and smaller, understory trees run along the sides of interior planting beds. These planted areas surround benches as well as tables and other site amenities.
One acre triangular lot in Tribeca, NYC. Bordered by 6th Avenue, Canal Street, Varick Street
Developed to add new park to Tribeca. The main feature is a 120’ long x 10’ wide granite “canal” and waterfall fountain. Landscaping and multiple seating areas surround it.
Granite, water, landscaping and park amenities
New York City Art Commission and New York City Department of Parks & Recreation; additional funding by Paul Milstein Foundation.
New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, project manager Gail Wittwer-Laird;
Fountain engineer: Dr. Gerald Palevsky