For well over a century almost a thousand acres of prime Manhattan real estate have gone to waste, as thousands of roustabouts loiter daily on that great green monument to squandered potential: Central Park. But at last a group of visionaries are trying to turn this urban void into something the city desperately needs: an international airport! But what about JFK, you say? Let the Manhattan Airport Foundation explain:
JFK, La Guardia and Newark may work for people who live in certain outer boroughs. But they are not an acceptable option for the majority of New Yorkers, requiring travel through some of the most congested traffic arteries in the nation... Amazingly, there is still a large, undeveloped and underutilized site in the center of New York City. In fact, this site has remained undeveloped for so long that many of us forget it even exists. It’s called Central Park. Ask most New Yorkers when was the last time they visited it. Statistically that number is fewer than one visit per person per year. But how many times did those same New Yorkers go the airport?
Check and mate, Central Park Conservancy. The website for the Manhattan Airport Foundation is surprisingly thorough for what is almost certainly a Swiftian satire; it features plenty of 3-D renderings, a design competition, a petition (17,000 and growing!), and F.A.Q. such as, "What will happen to landmarks such as Cleopatra’s Needle, Beethoven and Strawberry Fields?" The irrefutable answer: "Whenever possible, vestigial architectural elements of the Park space will be retained or reworked into the context of the new design. Under the current plan the Imagine mosaic and Strawberry Fields will be preserved, however they will be located indoors within the main terminal concourse."
Ready to say goodbye to rabid weekend warrior cyclists, Shakespeare, and two hour schleps to far-flung airports? Get out your checkbooks and make a $1,000 donation to the Foundation; they'll dedicate an airport bench in your name. Excelsior! [Via Curbed]