Central Avenue Spot In Rye Could Return To Park Space

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This spot at the corner of Central Avenue and Boston Post Road in Rye used to be a park, and could return to that status again when the weather warms up.
This spot at the corner of Central Avenue and Boston Post Road in Rye used to be a park, and could return to that status again when the weather warms up. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue

RYE, N.Y. -- Rye is still deciding what to do with the plot of land on the corner of Central Avenue and Boston Post Road, though officials are leaning towards restoring it as a park.

During the construction of the Central Avenue bridge, the former park space was used to house construction equipment. When construction was completed in September, gravel was put down, the area was roped off and it has remained undeveloped. There had been some discussion within the city of whether it should be restored as a park space, or used as a parking lot for nearby businesses.

"When the weather warms up, my inclination is that we should return it to a park that it has been for decades and decades," said Mayor Joe Sack.

No final decisions have been made, and Sack said it would be best to wait until the construction at nearby 2 Central Ave. is completed and officials can have a better look at the area. Sack said he also wanted to have more discussions between the City Council and the Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Commission. 

In 1967 Christ's Church leased the property to the city to be used as a park and trailway for the nearby Rye Nature Center. The Rye Conservation Society also gave money to the city to develop the space into a park, according to Doug Carey, former chair of the Recreation Commission. The church sold the space to the city in 1977 for $1.

According to articles that appeared in the Rye Chronicle in 1976, there were some reported issues of drug use by youths in the park. One 19 year-old died in 1976, and two other teens were rushed to the hospital after reportedly overdosing on drugs at the park. In 1976 the city council ordered that the benches be removed from the park, and that the city's Youth Council establish programs to assist youths with drug issues.

Council member Laura Brett said that the Landmarks Committee is trying to secure an old mile-marker that has been at the site of United Hospital. She said that if the marker is returned, one possibility could be to place it at the park.

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Comments (3)

Ray, there is a pretty clear cut case here for Parkland Alienation. I sent Anne that info. If the City doesn't move forward on returning this to a park as soon as frozen ground, ice and snow allow, I think Anne, Doug Carey, whomever, should look into that issue. This should never have been allowed to happen, even to that tiny little patch of land. Public park land is public park land, period. Private enterprise should not be allowed to co-opt public park land for their own use. If they do want to, there is a legal process they have to go through. That was not followed here.


I agree with you on you assessment of Mr. Pickup's failures as a city manager, every step of the way. The Central Ave Park fiasco is a great example of the way in which he manages our city or fails to manage our city.

And although I do not mean to make light of the Central Ave park parking lot issue there is a much more pressing issue that Mr. Pickup has ignored for years in Rye and it threatens the health and safety of the public and increases the danger risks of our first responders daily.

Nice article, tells it like it is!!! I won't go into how this came about & the motives behind our City Manager for showing such disrespect for what that Park stood for and the disrespect for his community.

When Ms. McCarthy first brought this subject to the forefront our City Manager had a very vague & somewhat disrespectful kind of answer. When she came back 2 weeks later our City Manager seemed to have a much different answer with a more thorough dialogue.

After short discussions Mayor Sack & Council made several inquiries of our City Manager searching for answers to how this came to be.
After hearing the answers the Mayor made several comments, the one that stood out for me was this....
"no harm, no foul".

I absolutely disagree with this. With complete respect and I have always had nothing but for Joe Sack...

The harm is in place and the foul has been committed!!!

I think we all received the same vibe from the Mayor and our City Council, which is, this park will once again be what it has always been!!!

What remains is this; We have a City Manager who continues to act with insubordination & lies with no respect for his City Council and no respect for his community. He showed this once again when thoroughly questioned by Council on Agenda Item for Police Policy at the last Council Meeting.

Looking for a new Commissioner of our PD is a large time consuming responsibility, having to search for a new City Manager in the same breath would probably not be wise. Given that both these searches take an extreme length of time, in my opinion it would be in our City's best interest to make a decision NOW on whether or not we will be searching for a new City Manager. If the City Manager is to remain, great, lets say so and march on. If the City Manager will one day be replaced then lets start the process NOW!

The Commissioner & City Manager searches take months, if we wait for the Commissioner process to be fully completed and then begin a search for a new City Manager we will have a full year ahead of us full of insubordination, disrespect & lies from Mr. City Manager.

I can't speak for the rest of you, but I am tired of being disrespected & lied to as a 4th Generation resident and taxpayer of this community. No one in this community should be expected to put up with one more day yet another YEAR of Mr. City Manager's insubordination, disrespect & lies!!!