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Park Avenue Co-Op Courtyard Restoration

New York, New York

The heart of this historic co-op, one of Manhattan’s first, is a U-shaped Italianate courtyard. As the shade from the courtyard’s seven mature linden trees has deepened, the understory and ground plane plantings have become increasingly diminished, weakened and vulnerable to disease and winter damage. Starr Whitehouse offered the board a range of options... Continue Reading

The heart of this historic co-op, one of Manhattan’s first, is a U-shaped Italianate courtyard. As the shade from the courtyard’s seven mature linden trees has deepened, the understory and ground plane plantings have become increasingly diminished, weakened and vulnerable to disease and winter damage. Starr Whitehouse offered the board a range of options to bring new life into the courtyard while maintaining the integrity of its historic style. Recommendations touched on improvements to structural elements, increased circulation/viewsheds, emphasizing existing water features, and adding accents sympathetic to the look and feel of the original design. To tackle the challenge of the understory, Starr Whitehouse offered two planting options: retaining the linden trees, with vulnerable understory plants replaced by sturdier, shade-tolerant species, or removing the lindens to open the courtyard to the sun, redirecting resources to cultivating smaller plantings, perennials, and shrubs.