Robert Moses Park
Located between FDR Drive, 1st Avenue, 41st and 42nd Streets, Robert Moses Park is a one and a half acre neighborhood park which includes a playground, dog run, sport courts, and extensive greenery. Situated in a densely populated area of midtown known for its scarcity of parks, Robert Moses Park provides Turtle Bay residents a rare bit of open space. That’s why residents were stunned to learn that the United Nations (UN) is proposing to erect a 35-story office tower where the Robert Moses Park now stands. The proposed building would accommodate Secretariat offices while the existing building is being renovated and would later be used for UN staff who now work in rented offices scattered around of the city. Community residents are outraged at the idea of losing a public park, and Congresswoman Maloney shares their concerns. Before the UN could take over a public park, the New York State legislature would have to agree to allow the taking. Maloney believes that the UN must agree to provide comparable active park space before this existing park could be taken.
While the UN has offered to construct an esplanade along the edge of FDR Drive from 42nd to 48th street, the esplanade is not a substitute for an active park. It would not have the playground and sports courts that Robert Moses Park offers. Further, it would take years to build an esplanade, assuming the United Nations is able to obtain the approvals it would need to build it, while the park would be taken immediately. The community cannot afford to lose the only active park space in a community that has the second least amount of park space in the city.