10. The Garden is Under Threat of Development

Image via Curtis + Ginsberg Architects

Since 2012, when plans to create an affordable housing complex on the site were revealed, the garden has been under the constant threat of development. The development project, called Haven Green, includes a mixed-use building designed by Curtis + Ginsberg Architects and developed by Penrose Development, LLC. In the summer of 2019, the City Council approved plans for the project to go forward, but the Elizabeth Street Garden has its own proposed plans for an alternate affordable housing site in the same district. In 2019, Elizabeth Street Garden filed a lawsuit against the City of New York and the Department of Housing and Preservation and Development (HPD) with attorney Norman Siegel.

Elizabeth Street Garden hopes to be successful in the legal battle to save the garden and turn it into a community land trust. In this scenario, the garden would maintain its sculptures and community gardens and would be enhanced by other projects including a new greenhouse conservatory for year-round gardening, a composting station, and a solar-paneled roof, among other features. You can donate to the garden’s legal fund here!

Next, check out 10 of NYC’s Elevated Parks and Hidden Gardens