Mogavero Architects

Park[ing] Day 2013 – popup parks greening the Midtown grid


Friday 20 September was Park(ing) Day – an event Mogavero Notestine Associates has participated in since just after its inception in 2005.



This year, for the first time, the section of 20th street between K & J was almost completely filled with popup parklets, ranging from the silly and fun to the sublime, and of course Mogavero Notestine Associates was there in good form.

Our parklet included 90% or better recycled, reused or repurposed materials and elements, a landscape and planning approach, and a planned theme of “Adirondack Hiatus”. The goal was to create a gardenlike retreat space, with a sense of serenity and escape, while using as close to 100% recycled or reused materials as possible. Our process was intensely collaborative, and had a noticeable improvisational component – once we had the elements and concepts, we pre-assembled in the Mogavero Notestine Associates garage, and tweaked and built on the design there. We were lucky enough to get assistance from Lumens Light & Living ( who loaned us the two lovely green Adirondack chairs and matching table (all with a very high recycled plastic content) and also a wonderful Chilewich rug – which also had significant recycled content.


We had some bespoke land art created by our own amazing Erin Reschke, and some artwork on loan from local sculptor Vince King ( which helped really make our space pop; overall the collaborative spirit pervaded not only our process, and our parklet, but the entire event as well: we collaborated with Hammel, Green and Abramson’s ( first-ever park(ing) day team to ensure that visitors to our two little more isolated parklets would be able to easily pass from one to the other without having to step into the street.


After the main park(ing) day event, we were also involved with the Rooftop Alliance and Loftgardens ( popup rooftop garden party, which involved relocating our parklet to the top of a nearby parking garage, along with a handful of other parklets, to highlight the Rooftop Alliance’s goal to raise awareness of rooftop gardening opportunities and benefits. Local restaurant Lowbrau provided drinks and links for those so inclined on Saturday, and on Sunday there was an open all-acoustic jam session which lasted for several hours.

It was fascinating to see how large and energized this event has become – I’ve been involved in this with Mogavero Notestine Associates from the first time we participated, and previously it was rather small and guerrilla in nature – this year, walking down the road towards our parklet, with both sides of the road chock full of parklets was a truly tremendous experience.

– Gerard

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