The last we spoke of Nolita’s Elizabeth Street Garden, we learned that plans were underway to replace the community green space with a high rise for affordable senior housing. The Department of Housing Preservation was awarded the contract for the project back in December, but the Elizabeth Street Garden nonprofit, which currently manages the space, has an alternative plan for the garden.

Image via Elizabeth Street Garden

It recently released a set of renderings of what the garden could potentially look like as a Community Land Trust (CLT). Under this new vision, the nonprofit would take ownership of the site from the city and continue to operate it as a community space, managed by staff, volunteers and neighbors.
The statuary and architectural aspects would remain, but ESG plans to expand the garden’s various services and amenities: this includes a new greenhouse conservatory for year-round gardening (Site A), a composting station and work shed (Site B), a solar paneled roof (Site C) and the reconstruction of the stairs that lead to the existing balcony (Site D).

Site A. Rendering by Ella Barnes. Image via Elizabeth Street Garden

This also means the nonprofit would be responsible for entirely funding the CLT, which it plans to do so through fundraising efforts and private space rentals for events like photoshoots.

Site B and C. Rendering by Ella Barnes. Image via Elizabeth Street Garden

Site D. Rendering by Ella Barnes. Image via Elizabeth Street Garden

Currently, the city’s formalized proposal calls for the construction of a seven-story building, to be called Haven Green, which will offer 121 affordable apartments for seniors and a publicly accessible, 7,600-square-feet garden. While it seems determined to move forward what that plan, there has been strong opposition from the local community board (CB2), local politicians and Nolita residents, who have offered up several undeveloped city properties as alternative building sites for the project.

Rendering of Haven Green. Image via Curtis + Ginsberg Architects

In addition to the Community Land Trust vision, ESG also outlines two other models of how the community can save the garden. The first proposal, though “highly unlikely” to happen, calls for the garden to be transferred to NYC Parks and designated as Mapped Park Land (MLP); the second plan would also transfer the site to NYC Parks, but as a Green Thumb Garden (GT) and not a MPL. Learn more about each plan here.
Next, read about how the Elizabeth Street Garden is Likely to Be Demolished to Make Way for Housing Development and Discover the Pocket Parks of NYC