Sustainable Playland honored by Westchester chapter of American Institute of Architects

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Sustainable Playland, the group chosen by Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino to take over and revitalize Playland Park in Rye, has been awarded the first AIA Public Advocacy Honor Award, the group announced Thursday. Click here for the latest on the review process. Here’s the statement:

Sustainable Playland Named the First Recipient of the AIA Public Advocacy Honor Award

AIA Westchester Hudson Valley honors Sustainable Playland for its efforts to revitalize historic Westchester park

RYE, NEW YORK (February 6, 2014) – Sustainable Playland Inc. (SPI) has been recognized by American Institute of Architects (AIA) Westchester Hudson Valley with the Public Advocacy Honor Award for their vision and endeavor to revitalize the historic Playland Park in Westchester County. SPI is the first recipient of this award.

“SPI has embraced all of the elements germane to the Public Advocacy Honor Award’s intent and we are very pleased to distinguish them with this award,” said Gregg DeAngelis, Chapter President of AIA Westchester Hudson Valley.

The Public Advocacy Honor Award has been created to recognize individuals and groups who support significant efforts to enhance or preserve the built environment, which includes promoting sustainable means and methods through design, technology, and/or economic stewardship. The award was presented at an AIA ceremony at the historic Capitol Theatre in Port Chester.

“We are pleased to be honored by such a prestigious organization,” said Kim Morque, President of SPI. “To have our efforts to preserve and enhance this historic and much loved park recognized is gratifying. We’re looking forward to beginning what will be a multi-year process of revitalizing the park and we look forward to working with AIA Westchester Hudson Valley and other organizations who share our commitment to Playland.”

SPI was selected by County Executive Rob Astorino from among a dozen respondents to his Request for Proposals to Re-invent Playland for the 21st Century. The SPI approach focuses on preserving and restoring the historic architecture and components of the 1928 amusement park, enhancing the public access to Long Island Sound, respecting the unique environmental attributes of the 200-acre property, and creating multiple, year-round uses for the residents of Westchester that assure that the property is economically sustainable and not a drain on the county’s taxpayers.

Key components of the park include the amusement rides, the beach, the ice casino and boardwalk, a new field house for indoor and outdoor sports, restaurants, the Westchester Children’s Museum, attractive common areas, a great lawn and enhanced access to the adjacent Edith Read Nature Sanctuary. SPI expects to phase into the
management of the park this year and to assume full management responsibilities in 2015. The restoration of revitalization of the park will be done over several years.

SPI’s Playland Improvement Plan is currently before the County Board of Legislators for final approval.

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  1. The Westchester County Board of Legislators should not approve this plan. Kim Morque (a man) is President of Spinnaker Real Estate Partners of Fairfield CT. He is basically a real estate broker who has no experience in running an amusement park. Playland has consistently lost taxpayer money in its operations even for the 2 years that Marriot Corp. ran the park under contract with the County. Taxpayers should not have to continue to subsidize Playland which is the only amusement park left in the U.S. still owned by a municipality. Part of the problem is that thousands of free tickets are distributed every year to political people and their friends and families. There is a high potential for corruption and kickbacks to elected officials with this kind of a deal.