Jackson Square Alliance Christmans Tree Lighting Ceremony
To help kick off a holiday season of giving, the Jackson Square Alliance held a fundraiser in the penthouse suite of 122 Greenwich Street, a suite that overlooks Jackson Square Park and has incredible skyline views of the Empire State Building and other New York landmarks. Spanning an incredible 5,530 square feet – this four bedroom, five bathroom penthouse, boasts two floors with private roof access and a pool. What a delight it was to attend this fundraiser in such a splendid space.
The evening began in Jackson Square Park with a tree lighting ceremony, and was accompanied by fun elf hats from TD Bank as well as snacks and hot chocolate from the Jackson Square café S’Nice – just the ticket in the cold winter weather! The festive tree lighting as well as the lighting around the park were all designed by Rene Hofstede. Park activities were followed by hors d’oeuvres and wine in the penthouse suite, all provided by Lyon Bouchon Moderne. A silent auction consisted of exciting items such as a $500 gift certificate to Armani Exchange, and a table voucher with VIP entry and bottle service at the elite Tejune nightclub valued at $1,800.
We sat down with the President of the Jackson Square Alliance, Harlan Bratcher, to ask about the organization and the fundraising event. Three years since its founding, the non-profit has come a long way from the two members who originally started the organization for the purpose of “improving the quality of life in Jackson Square,” says Bratcher. “We want to be bigger than just Jackson Square Park”
In her speech to donors and supporters, New York City Counsel Member and park advocate Christine Quinn reminisced about the condition of one of the oldest parks in the city. “This park has been through an incredible transformation,” she said, reminding amused supporters about “Crazy Mary” who would feed pigeons and rats in the park and remove city installed rat poison apparatuses in the name of her love for the park pests. “This was often times a park you walked around to avoid,” she remembers. Today, park is “full of strollers and secretaries brown bagging their lunches,” says alliance president Harlan Bratcher.
Quinn notes that the Jackson Square Alliance has successfully harnessed “the power of public space to create community.” Besides free WiFi, the alliance has had the park replanted with the help of their modestly paid gardener Nancy Matthews. In addition, the city funded the re-installation of blue stone pavement, making the park more wheelchair accessible. The alliance also pays for uniformed officers to patrol in and around the park for forty hours per week.
So what does the Jackson Square Alliance have planned in the future to continue to improve Jackson Square? The alliance would like to restore the fountain as well as restore some of the original park design consisting of more grass beds in place of current stone slabs.
Some images from the event