The reservoir's historic structures & ecosystems are an opportunity to create a unique environmental education center for our children & their future.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Reservoir Fencing

In a January 6th Daily News article, Kevin Quinn, director of Queens capital projects for the Parks Department, was quoted as saying that the historic fences at the reservoir needed to be removed because, the "spacing of the pickets no longer meets code as a guardrail." As far as I've been able to determine, the city's code requires that the spacing on railings be not more than 6".

There are two style of fences at the Ridgewood Reservoir. The first is a circa 1850s Hecla Ironworks fence that surrounds the central basin. In 2003, the department of parks had a replica of that fence created for the Central Park reservoir. The cost for the reproduction was $2 million. Here is a parks department 2003 press release about that installation. Welding Works, the company that built the fence received an industry award for the project.

The parks department was more than happy to spend $2 million to create a copy of the Ridgewood Reservoir fencing for Central Park. The same agency now wants to tear down the original, historic ones in Ridgewood for something that doesn't even try to look like a period piece. Why do you suppose they would do that?

Below is a series of photos which compare the replica fence around the Central Park Reservoir with the existing historic fence at the Ridgewood Reservoir.

Below are photos of a slightly newer design fence that was installed around basin #3 at the Ridgewood Reservoir. The parks department actually removed a section of the fencing to block off access to the path between basins 2 and 3. It's curious that they would go through so much trouble, yet leave a large opening at the left edge of the fence. I guess they didn't really want to stop people from entering the pathway.

These are photos that show the measurements of the new fence, including the space between the pickets. This fence also seems to fall within the 6" spacing requirement.

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