This weekend marks the 123rd year Labor Day will be celebrated in the United States. It became an official federal holiday in 1894, honoring the social and economic contributions of American workers. One such public servant who worked tirelessly for the people of New York City was urban planner and activist, Linda Stone Davidoff (1941-2003). During her 40 years of advocacy, she headed several non-profit organizations, including The Parks Council, The New York League of Conservation Voters, Citizen Action of New York and Citizens Union and Citizens Union Foundation. She was also instrumental in the development of Riverside Park South. In recognition of those efforts, Linda’s Lawn, which runs along Riverside Park South from 65th to 68th Street was named in her honor in 2004.
Beginning in 1991, she led a coalition that worked to create a plan for the utilization of 27 acres of Hudson River waterfront property which was formerly used by several Railroad Companies. Running from 72nd Street down to 57th Street, and connecting to the northern portion of Riverside Park, this multi-phase project came to be known as Riverside Park South. In November 1998, the first phase began with a 7 acre section from 72nd to 68th Street. The fourth phase and most recent was completed in 2007, linking 62nd to 57th Street. Riverside Park South is a beautiful urban landscape with winding trails, river piers, lush plantings, weeping willow trees, remnants from the days of the railroad and a really interesting Arts Students League installation that is up until May 2017.
If you are celebrating Labor Day weekend this year in the city, stop by Linda’s Lawn and remember to pay tribute to a woman who loved this city and worked hard to help make it a great place to live.
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