The Central Park Conservancy has recently released details about the renovation of the Lasker Rink and Pool, the capstone project of the Conservancy’s 40-year campaign to restore Central Park. The project will restore the area’s ecosystem while creating a new pool and rink facility at the Harlem Meer.
The new facility will be integrated into the landscape by being built into the eastern side of the site with a green roof overlooking the area. It will be more open and accessible to visitors and, for the first time, the facility will support programming, access to restrooms, and amenities year-round.
A new pool and outdoor splash pad will be built and a seasonal ice rink for skating and hockey will be installed. A boardwalk, accessed via an open-air pavilion on the shoreline, that travels through a series of small islands and a freshwater marsh will convert to a skating ribbon in winter.
The existing Lasker Rink and Pool has acted as a physical and visual barrier to the north end for more than 60 years as it severed the Ravine landscape and Lock watercourse from the Harlem Meer. The new design provides unhindered access across to the north end of the Park by reconnecting the watercourse that runs through the Ravine so it flows freely into the Harlem Meer and by re-establishing the pedestrian path that once ran alongside it.
The project, slated to begin in spring of 2021, has a budget of $150 million, which includes a $40 million maintenance and capital repair fund. The City of New York has allocated $50 million to the project. The conservancy is committed to raising the remaining $100 million and overseeing the design and construction. The project is slated for completion in 2024.