A new look for a venerable commercial and cultural strip in Bed-Stuy
It was a proud day for residents and politicians involved in the long standing Bedford- Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation. On September 10, the hard work and long hours paid off as “Restoration” cut the ribbon in celebration of the completion of the $20 million renovation along Fulton Street, upgrading the once-decrepit community area.
Among those in attendance were local Councilmember Al Vann, BSRC CEO and President Colvin Grannum and commissioners from various city agencies.
Attracting new businesses and making a more aesthetically pleasing hub was the message during the ceremony. “This neighborhood revitalization project will not only provide Bed-Stuy residents with an opportunity to enjoy the neighborhood’s beauty and culture, but will also provide housing, business opportunities and shopping destinations for the people of our community and its visitor,” said Grannum.
One of the signature upgrades was the beautification of Restoration Plaza. This includes the revamped Marcy Plaza, which houses a Wall of Fame as well as an art installation, “Mathematical Star” by local artist Ellen Harvey, a 22-foot diameter circular mosaic weaving together 18 different patterns based on local landmarks.
The giant blue mural comprising the Wall of Fame displays several significant political leaders, including President Barack Obama, Robert F. Kennedy and Shirley Chisholm , the first African American women to serve in Congress.
The plaza will also serve as a farmer’s market and performance area. “The new Marcy Avenue Plaza reawakens a tired patch of asphalt to create a vibrant community destination for generations of Bed-Stuy residents to enjoy,” said Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.
Safety and beautification were both emphasized in the streetscape enhancement through new bike racks, new benches and trees. “The improved streetscape along Fulton Street, along with enhanced and new public plazas, will make the neighborhood safer and more useful for pedestrians and residents, attract diverse new businesses, and ultimately spur economic growth in this historic heart of the Bedford-Stuyvesant community,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Kyle Kimball.
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