A Lament for the State of Prospect Park’s Arches


    In this weekend’s Streetscapes column in the Times, Christopher Gray writes about Prospect Park’s five arches, which he believes “show the sensitive, humanistic possibilities of the city — which its citizens have betrayed.” How’s that? In most cases, because the insides of the structures now sport graffiti. Gray’s choicest words are about Meadowport Arch: “This marvelous, inspiring work, a 100-foot-long Grand Central Terminal waiting room of polished cedar, with rounded benches and a cross-vaulted pavilion, was lovingly recreated in 1988, barely a generation ago. Now, after all that intention, money and effort, Meadowport Arch is a madeleine for New York of the 1960s and 1970s. The graffiti vandals have sprayed their way through the interior, and the city has seen little choice but to paint over four long runs of the casing. Only the topmost ones, out of reach, are intact, almost perfectly so — reminders of the humane sensitivity of the original design. The paint job is slapdash, with drips on the benches, but that only reflects the native tragedy — that we had this beautiful, democratic thing, freely given to all, and yet destroyed it.”
    The Fate of Prospect Park’s Five Arches [NY Times]
    Photo by wallyg.

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