Deputy Mayor Harris, Parks Department Rename Edgar Plaza in Honor of Late Downtown Alliance President Liz Berger
In memory of late Downtown Alliance President Elizabeth H. Berger, Downtown Alliance Chairman Robert Douglass, Downtown Alliance Acting President William Bernstein, Deputy Mayor Patti Harris, Council Member Margaret Chin, Community Board 1 Chair Catherine McVay Hughes, Manhattan Parks Commissioner William Castro, community members and Administration officials joined together to rename Edgar Plaza as “Elizabeth H. Berger Plaza.” Photographs from the renaming ceremony can be found at: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjP6sqk9.
“Liz was the soul of Downtown. Passionate, smart, forward-looking and fiercely loyal,” said Downtown Alliance Chairman Robert Douglass. “She was a determined and effective advocate for all of Lower Manhattan. She taught us to see possibilities that eluded most others. When looking at Greenwich South, Liz didn’t see an orphaned, desolate corner of the district, but a bustling, mixed-use neighborhood just waiting to happen. Because of Liz, it’s happening now before our very eyes.”
“Elizabeth Berger Plaza will be a wonderful part of Lower Manhattan’s exciting future – a place for residents to come together as a community – just what Liz would have wanted,” said Deputy Mayor Patti Harris. “The transformation of this neighborhood has been amazing and it would not have been possible without her. And while the Plaza bears her name, every block of Lower Manhattan embodies her spirit. The example she set will continue to inspire New Yorkers, and the next generation of civic leaders. New York City will be forever grateful to Liz Berger – and grateful for her commitment and love.”
In 2008, Ms. Berger led a comprehensive planning study designed to showcase and advance Greenwich South, an underdeveloped and historically isolated area that she recognized as having vast untapped potential to serve as the linchpin connecting of Manhattan’s Lower West Side – the nexus of the World Trade Center redevelopment, the battery, the financial district and Battery Park City. Under her leadership, she convened an ad hoc board committee which produced a provocative and aspirational vision plan – Five Principles for Greenwich South – which called for, among many other things, the creation of a real park at Edgar Plaza, to serve as the focal point and meeting place of the burgeoning Greenwich South neighborhood. Edgar Plaza is located at Edgar Street between Greenwich Street and Trinity Place.
Ms. Berger who as the President of the Alliance for Downtown New York and President of the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association helped shape the reimagining and rebuilding of Lower Manhattan after the 9/11 attacks and who recently led a multifaceted effort to assist Lower Manhattan businesses and residents recover from the effects of Superstorm Sandy died on August 5th at Bellevue Hospital Center. She joined the Alliance for Downtown New York as President in November 2007. She is survived by her husband Frederick Kaufman, daughter Phoebe, son Julian, her mother Anita, and brother Gideon.