(Staten Island, NY – July 21, 2021) NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) Commissioner Gonzalo Casals and NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Jamie Torres-Springer joined elected officials and the Staten Island Historical Society at Historic Richmond Town today to celebrate the completion of the $10.6 million project to upgrade the utilities and streetscape in the historic district’s Central Village area. DDC managed the construction for DCLA.
“Historic Richmond Town is a gem that preserves the rich past of Staten Island, and invites New Yorkers to explore and engage with the diverse histories and people who have lived here and contributed to our city,” said DCLA Commissioner Gonzalo Casals. “The City is proud of its investment in this much needed upgrade, a signal of our long term commitment to supporting culture across the city. We welcome all residents and visitors to come explore this remarkable historical site and cultural institution.”
“This comprehensive rebuild of the Richmond Town central village streetscape preserves the historic character of the district while upgrading it with modern utilities, fire protection and communications capabilities,” said DDC Commissioner Jamie Torres-Springer. “Historic Richmond Town is now even more authentic and prepared to educate and entertain future generations of New Yorkers.”
“I was proud to help cut the ribbon today on behalf of Borough President Jim Oddo on a capital project that is transformative for Historic Richmond Town — literally,” said Staten Island Deputy Borough President Ed Burke. “The reimagined streetscape enhances the immersive historic setting and the overall visitor experience. This project was a collaboration over many years between Historic Richmond Town and the Borough President’s office and our City Council colleagues and partners in DCLA and DDC. We hope it adds to the magic and educational impact of a visit to Historic Richmond Town for many generations to come.”
“The completion of this project has helped to ensure that generations of visitors will continue to be able to visit, enjoy and learn about our ancestors,” said Council Member Joseph Borelli. “These 21st century improvements will be a foundation for future additions and usage at one of Staten Island’s most interesting cultural attractions.”
“Historic Richmond Town started to interpret a living history village in the 1950s. Since then, our 100 acre campus utilities remained in the 1950s until 2015 when the City and our local community leaders worked together to secure the nearly nine and half million dollars to put Historic Richmond Town on NYC sewer and water systems, as well as upgrade the power systems,” said Historic Richmond Town CEO and Executive Director Jessica B. Phillips. “We are truly grateful to everyone involved for working together to ensure Historic Richmond Town has street lights at night, improved sidewalks, and upgraded utilities for our community to use and enjoy while visiting the most complete living history village in New York City. The Staten Island Historical Society at Historic Richmond Town works to create opportunities for the public to explore the diversity of the American experience, especially that of Staten Island and its neighboring communities from the colonial period to the present.”
The entire Historic Richmond Town measures over 100 acres and features 60,000 artifacts and 30 historic structures, ten of which are landmarked by the City. Below and above ground work took place around Center Street, Tysen Court and Court Place, where 1,300 feet of new 8-inch water main and 850 feet of new 8-inch sanitary sewers were installed. Almost five miles (25,000 feet) of underground conduits were also installed as the area received a new electrical distribution system and new underground data network. The existing overhead utility lines, transformers and poles were removed and new streetlights were installed to improve safety and visibility.
As part of the final street restoration, 38,000 square feet of roadway, 7,250 square feet of sidewalks and 1,450 feet of curbs were reconstructed. Throughout the project area, 96 trees were planted and 14 trees were removed, resulting in a gain of 82 trees overall.
About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15.5 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit nyc.gov/ddc.
About the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs
The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) is dedicated to supporting and strengthening New York City’s vibrant cultural life. DCLA works to promote and advocate for quality arts programming and to articulate the contribution made by the cultural community to the City’s vitality. The Department represents and serves non-profit cultural organizations involved in the visual, literary, and performing arts; public-oriented science and humanities institutions including zoos, botanical gardens, and historic and preservation societies; and creative artists at all skill levels who live and work within the City’s five boroughs. DCLA also provides donated materials for arts programs offered by the public schools and cultural and social service groups, and commissions permanent works of public art at City-funded construction projects throughout the five boroughs. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/culture.