Friends of Bogardus Plaza (FBP) is a small group of local volunteers who helped create and maintain Bogardus Plaza, a community green space located in the heart of Tribeca at the intersection of Hudson, Chambers and Reade streets. FBP is a 100% donation and volunteer-run non-profit that keeps the site free of debris and tends to the on-going needs (and challenges) of this important downtown green space year-round.
Friends of Bogardus Plaza's mission is to foster community interaction in lower Manhattan by managing a space that is accessible to all, well maintained, and enriched by free programming throughout the year.
Victoria Weil, President
Anne Patterson, Vice President
Jean Raazi, Treasurer
Sangeeta Prasad, Asst. Treasurer
Judith Roberts, Secretary
Who was James Bogardus?
Bogardus Garden was named after renowned 19th-century pioneer of cast-iron architecture, James Bogardus. It was the success of Bogardus’ cast-iron structures that ultimately lead to the widespread adoption of steel frame building construction still used in modern-day skyscrapers. In the 1970s and 80s, Bogardus’ work garnered a following of local cast-iron enthusiasts including famed preservationist, Margot Gayle. Gayle hosted walking tours throughout lower Manhattan originating from this once small, concrete traffic island she later lobbied to have
named in Bogardus' honor.
From Traffic Triangle to Garden
Over the years, with the help of several different community groups and volunteers, the once litter-filled traffic triangle bearing Bogardus’ name was transformed into a gated garden that thrived throughout the 1980s and 90s. But by the early 2000s, the garden fell into neglect as many of its original caretakers moved out of the neighborhood. That's when Friends of Bogardus Plaza (FBP) formed a 501c3 organization and took over the management of this important green space, which continues to thrive and evolve with each passing year.
From Garden to Pedestrian Plaza
In 2010, the NY Department of Transportation (DOT) planned to close Hudson Street between Reade and Chambers streets for the 3-year Chambers Street Reconstruction Project. But, rather than turn the small stretch of Hudson Street adjacent to Bogardus Garden into a holding area for construction equipment, DOT agreed to partner with FBP to transform the street into a temporary pedestrian plaza. With tables, chairs and planters provided by DOT, plus donations from the community and local businesses, FBP created a temporary plaza. FBP maintained the site and hosted free community events in the spring and fall. By the end of 2011, Community Board One voted in support of keeping the plaza and making it a permanent part of the community.