LaGuardia Corner Gardens



LaGuardia Corner Gardens (LCG) is on a strip of City owned land subject to development.  For several years members sought to transfer the land from the Dept. of Transportation (DOT) to the Dept. of Parks and Recreation (Parks), in order to secure the garden’s future.  NYU blocked the transfer. 

NYU intends to develop 2.5 million square feet, the size of the Empire State Building, on its two superblocks -- Washington Square Village and the Silver Towers, see NYU 2031.  NYU plans to build, as of right, on the supermarket site adjacent to the garden, a building that will close the garden for several years during construction and cast whatever remains in shade.  LCG would no longer be a flower garden.  LCG joined CAAN2031, a coalition of community groups in the Village, the East Village, Soho, NoHo, and Union Square, in opposing NYU’s massive development plans, see Community Action Alliance on NYU 2031.

LCG, along with Community Board 2, Borough President Scott Stringer, City Council Member Margaret Chin, State Senator Thomas Duane, and State Assembly Member Deborah Glick, supported the transfer of all DOT strips to Parks.  These strips, on Mercer, Bleecker, and LaGuardia Place, are public spaces developed and enjoyed by the community.  They include gardens, a dog run, and a playground. 

On June 6, 2012, the NYC Planning Commission approved NYU’s expansion.  On July 25, 2012, the City Council voted to approve the plan with some modifications.  Litigation to protect the garden by making it a “park” under NYS’s Public Trust Doctrine ended with a finding by the NYS Court of Appeals that there was insufficient evidence that the City intended to make the garden a park.  Demolition of the Coles Sports Center -- the first stage of NYU 2031 -- is expected to begin next year.

Open Space Report

LaGuardia Corner Gardens and the LMNOP Playground commissioned an open space report by the Hunter College Center for Urban Planning.  This report, which was presented to the NYC Planning Commission, shows that NYU Plan 2031 is decreasing, not increasing, public open space, as NYU claims.  It also shows that the garden and other precious open green spaces will be permanently lost to construction. See Hunter Open Space Report.

City Council Approves NYU Plan 2031

“Council Approves N.Y.U. Plan; Antis Booted Out Before Vote,” The Villager, July 26, 2012

“N.Y.U.’s Plan to Expand Is Approved by Council,” NYT, July 25, 2012

“Video:  Calls of ‘Shame On You’ As N.Y.U. 2031 Is Approved,” The Local East Village Blog, NYT, July 25, 2012

“City Council Approves NYU Expansion,” The Village Voice, July 25, 2012

“City Council Approves NYU Expansion Plan,” NY1, July 25, 2012

“Council Committee Approves N.Y.U. 2031, With More Concessions,” The Local East Village Blog, NYT, July 17, 2012

“City Council Committees Approve NYU Expansion Plans,” NY1, July 17, 2012

City Planning Commission Approves NYU Plan 2031

“N.Y.U. Drops Hotel, ‘Loft Blocks’ Rezoning; Planning O.K.’s 2031,” The Villager, June 7, 2012

“City Planning Okays Modified NYU Expansion Plan, Architectural Record,” June 7, 2012

“Revised NYU Plan Proceeds,” WSJ, June 6, 2012

“NYU Expansion Approved by Planning Commission,” Epoch Times, June 6, 2012

“NYU Expansion Gets Important Green Light,” Crain’s NY, June 6, 2012

“‘Yes’ City Planning Commission Greenlights NYU’s Expansion Plan,” NYCurbed, June 6, 2012

“NY-Phew:  City Planning Commission Approves NYU’s Village Expansion With Some Changes,

    NY Observer, June 6, 2012

“NYU’s Still Massive Expansion Gets City Planning Rubber Stamp,” The Gothamist, June 6, 2012

“NYU Expansion Plan Approved by City Planning Commission,” DNAinfo, June 6, 2012

“NYU Greenwich Village Expansion Gets Planning Approval, With Some Caveats,” The Real Deal, June 6, 2012

“Planning Vote Allows NYU Expansion to Move Forward,”  NY1, June 6, 2012

CB2 Rejects NYU Plan 2031

“The Community Board Voted Against NYU 2031 Last Night, But What Does That Mean,” NYULocal, Feb. 24, 2012

“NYU Expansion Plan,” MyFoxNY, Feb. 24, 2012

“Community Board Votes Down NYU Expansion Plan,” NY1, Feb. 23, 2012

In the News

“NYU Takes Fight Over Demolishing “Parks” to Court,” Sept. 25, 2014

“Anti-Development is in the Air at FASP Penthouse Fundraiser,” The Villager, Oct. 10, 2013

“NYU’s ‘Toxic’ Expansion Prioritizes Marketing Over Debt-Saddled Students, Professors Say,” Huffington Post,

    June 17, 2013

“Faculty Demand that Sexton Resign After Adverse Vote,” The Villager, March 21, 2013

“‘No Confidence’ Vote for Head of N.Y.U.,” NYT, March 13, 2013

“Senator Chuck Grassley Has Tough Questions for NYU,” The Village Voice, March 19, 2013

“N.Y.U.’s Global Leader is Tested by Faculty at Home,” NYT, March 9, 2013

“Can a Community Garden Stop the NYU Expansion,” NY Press, March 7, 2013

“N.Y.U. Project Foes Hail Judge’s Ruling About Strips,” The Villager, Feb. 28, 2013

“Judge Allows New Documentation In NYU Expansion Hearing,” City and State, Feb. 27, 2013

“NYU Gotta Be Kidding!  Matthew Broderick Rips $6B Expansion,” NYP, Feb. 27, 2013

“Matthew Broderick Joins NYU Expansion Opponents in Court,” DNAinfo, Feb. 26, 2013

“NYU/City in Court Over Attempted Illegal Parkland Swap,” A Walk in the Park blog,Feb. 26, 2013

“Former NYC Parks Commissioner Says City Illegally Gave Parkland to NYU,” NYULocal, Feb. 25, 213

“Former Parks Commissioner Signs On To Lawsuit,” NY1, Feb. 22, 2013

“Planet NYU,” The Village Voice, Feb. 20, 2013

“11 Groups File Suite Against N.Y.U. Plan for Its Superblocks,” The Villager, Sept. 27, 2012

“City is Sued Over Approval of NYU Expansion Plan,” NYT, Sept. 25, 2012

“NYU, City, State, Sued Over NYU’s Giant Expansion Plan,” The Gothamist, Sept. 25, 2012

“Purple Pulverizers:  NYU Faculty, Preservationists Sue University Over Greenwich Village Expansion,”

    NY Observer, Sept. 25, 2012

“W.S.V. Residents Sue N.Y.U. to Save Garden, Playground,” The Villager, August 23, 2012

“Following City Hall’s Vote to Approve NYU 2031 Expansion, Greenwich Village Residents Plan Their Next Move,”

    The Village Voice, July 26, 2012

“N.Y.U. Repeatedly Ignored Community’s Road Map,” The Villager, July 26, 2012

“Ivory Sours:  Late to Class, NYU Professors Fail at Blocking So-Called Sexton Plan, Hope for Extra Credit,”

   NY Observer, July 25, 2012

“Lawsuit Against N.Y.U. 20131 Likely on the Horizon,” The Local East Village Blog, NYT, July 24, 2012

“C.B. 2 to Mendez and Chin:  City Council Too Soft on NYU 2031,” The Local East Village Blog, NYT, July 20, 2012

“N.Y.U. Plan Wins Key Vote By Council Committee,” The Villager, July 19, 2012

“Green Thumbs Hope N.Y.U. Plan is Seriously Pruned,” The Villager, July 12, 2012

“Letters, Week of July 12, 2012,” The Villager, July 12, 2012

“N.Y.U., Greenwich Village Residents Face Off at 2031 Expansion Hearing,” Village Voice, June 29, 2012

“N.Y.U. Plan to Expand Has Critic in Neighborhood Star,”  NY Times, June 28, 2012

“N.Y.U. is Risking Its Intellectual and Fiscal Health,” The Villager, June 21, 2012

“Amanda Burden:  NYU Expansion Strikes the Perfect Balance [Updated], NY Observer, May 31, 2012

“N.Y.U. Flip-Flops on What It Requires in Its ‘Core’,” The Villager, May 24, 2012

“In the Shadow of the Four Towers: A Day at the Parks NYU Wants to Bury,” NY Observer, April 30, 2012

“City Planning Hears From Both Sides in NYU Expansion,” MASNYC, April 27, 2012

“City Planning Members Grill N.Y.U on Superblocks Plan,” The Villager, April 26, 2012

“N.Y.U. 2031’s Booers and Boosters Face Off Before Planning Commission,” April 26, 2012

“Expand Minds, Not the N.Y.U. Campus,” NY Times, April 25, 2012

“A Poll Finds Most N.Y.U. Faculty Are Against the Expansion Plan . . . ,“ Capital New York, April 19, 2012

“N.Y.U. Freshman Need a Campus -- On Governors Island,” The Villager, April 19, 2012

“N.Y.U. Scales Back Its Superblock Plan 17%,” The Villager, April 12, 2012

“Nadler Wants More Compromise on NYU Plan,” Politicker, NY Observer, April 11, 2012

“NYU Brings Out the Big Guns:  University Hires Ex-Council Members . . . to Lobby on Village Expansion,


     NY Observer, April 10, 2012

“N.Y.U. Agrees to Scale Back Its Expansion in the Village,” NYT, April 10, 2012

“Mayor Stands By NYU’s Greenwich Village Expansion Plans,” NY1, April 9, 2012

“Key Official Would Trim N.Y.U. Plan to Expand,” NYT, March 29, 2012

“Anti-N.Y.U. Plan Coalition Demands Hearing by Stringer,”  The Villager, March 29, 2012

“Planners Engage in Polite Combat Over NYU Expansion,” MetroFocus, March 29, 2012

“Update:  Resistance to NYU 2031 Expansion Heightens,” Arch Daily, March 29, 2012

“A Debate About N.Y.U.’s Expansion Plans Gets Academic in More Ways Than One,”

    CapitalNewYork, March 29, 2012

“NYU’s Controversial Expansion,” Gotham Gazette, March 29, 2012

“Experts Debate NYU’s Controversial Expansion,” Architectural Record, March, 28, 2012

“Panelists Call for Alternative Plans for NYU 2031,” GlobeSt., March 28, 2012

“Washington Square Park Champion Deborah Glick Squares Off Against NYU’s Expansion Plans,

     NY Observer, March 26, 2012

“Michael Kimmelman Proposes an Alternative to NYU2031,” NYCurbed, March 24, 2012

“New Business Groups Calls for Scaling Down N.Y.U. Plan,”  The Villager, March 22, 2012

“Faculty Members Protest NYU Expansion Plan,” MyFoxNY, March 22, 2012

“It Riles a Village,” NYT, March 22, 2012

“Room for Growth,” NYT, March 22, 2012

“Chamber Chief:  N.Y.U. Plan Will Help Village Keep Its Character,” The Villager, March 15, 2012

“Stringer Takes ‘Super’ Tour But Will He Hold A Hearing?,” The Villager, March 15, 2012

“N.Y.U.’s Plan for Expansion Draws Anger in the Community,” NYT, March 9, 2012

“N.Y.U. Risks Rotting the Core,” Letters to the Editor, The Villager, Feb. 23, 2012

N.Y.U. Ideas for Temporary Gym, Park Strips Questioned by C.B.2,”  The Villager, Feb. 16, 2012

“Angry Faculty to Cape Dogs Unite at Anti-N.Y.U. Plan Rally,” The Villager, Feb. 16, 2012

“NYU Expansion Plan Rally,” MyFoxNY, Feb. 11, 2012

“N.Y.U. Rep Says They’ll Give Land, Not Cash, For School,” The Villager, Feb.10, 2012

“N.Y.U. Has a Right to Build, But Must Scale Back Plan,” The Villager, Feb. 9, 2012

“This is Our Jane Jacobs Moment:  Stop the N.Y.U. Plan!” The Villager, Feb. 9, 2012

“How NYU Plans to Expand in the Village:  The Struggle for the Superblocks,” NYULocal, Jan. 25, 2012

“N.Y.U. Takes Heat on School and Open Space at Hearings,” The Villager, Jan. 19, 2012

“Huge Turnout Forces Change of Locale for N.Y.U. Meeting,” The Villager, Jan. 12, 2012

“Tensions High at NYU Expansion Meeting,” Fox News, Jan. 10, 2012

“NYU Expansion Plan Draws Opponents to Town Hall,”  4 NBCNewYork, Jan. 5, 2012

“Villagers Pack Town Hall, Hoping to Stop N.Y.U. Plan,” The Villager, Jan. 5, 2012

“Greenwich Village Residents Plot Next Move In Battle Against NYU Expansion,

   NY 1, Jan. 4, 2012


“Board 2 Begins Its Two-Month Review of N.Y.U. Mega-Plan,” The Villager, Dec. 31, 2011

“C.B. 2 Angered After N.Y.U. Goes to Media First,” The Villager, Sept. 29 - October 5, 2011

“N.Y.U. Wants Parks to Own Two of the Superblock Strips,” The Villager, Sept. 15 - 21, 2011

“City Planning Gets an Earful on N.Y.U. Superblocks Plan,”  The Villager, May 26 - June 1, 2011

“Worries N.Y.U. Project Would Endanger Blocks’ ‘Ecosystem’,” The Villager, May 12 - 18, 2011

“ULURP is Ticking on N.Y.U. Superblocks Plan,” The Villager, April 28 - May 4, 2011

“Forging a Strong Coalition to Block N.Y.U. Sprawl,” The Villager, April 21 - 27, 2011

“Superblock Decision Registers; Dorm Funds Could be Blocked,” The Villager, April 21 - 27, 2011

“Talking Point - And What Happens 20 Years After N.Y.U. 2031?,” The Villager, April 7 - 13, 2011

“N.Y.U. Gets OK for Silver Towers Modification Plan,”  The Villager, April 7 - 13, 2011

“Revised N.Y.U. Plan is ‘too ambitious,’ ‘ugly,’ Critics Say,” The Villager, March 24 - 30, 2011

N.Y.U. Shifts Public School, Hotel in Latest Design,” The Villager, March 17 - 23, 2011

“Just 7 Strips of Green, or A Park Worth Fighting For,” NYT, Jan. 7, 2011


“Community Board, Local Officials Protest NYU Expansion Plans: . . . ,” Daily News, Dec. 7, 2010

NYU Faces Protests From Greenwich Village Residents . . .,” Daily News, Dec. 6, 2010

“Village Residents Tell NYU:  Keep Off Our Grass,” NY Post, Dec. 6, 2010

Village Residents Look to Halt NYU Expansion Plan,” NY1, Dec. 5, 2010

Editorial - N.Y.U. ‘Super’ Errors,” The Villager, Dec. 2-8, 2010

“After Pei Protests N.Y.U. Plan, Supermarket Site is New Focus,” The Villager, Nov. 25 - Dec. 1, 2010

“The School That Ate New York,” NY Magazine, Nov. 14, 2010

“‘No 400-Foot Tower!’ Hundreds Say as N.Y.U. Seeks Approval,” The Villager Nov. 11 - 17, 2010

“Greenwich Village Residents in Tug-of-War with NYU . . . ,” Daily News, Nov. 1, 2010

NYU Withdraws Plan for Tower

“NYU Backs Off Plan to Add Tower to Landmark,” NY Post, Nov. 18, 2010

“I.M. Pei Scuttles Plans for NYU Tower,”  NY Magazine, Nov. 18, 2010

“N.Y.U. scraps plans for fourth tower in landmark site after I.M. Pei Objects,”  The Villager, Nov. 18 - 24, 2010

NYU Proposals & Responses

“Greenwich Village Residents to Fight Against . . . Plan Over Mercer Playground,” Daily News, July 22, 2010

“Neighbors Take Chops at N.Y.U. Fourth-Tower Plan,” The Villager, June 23- 29, 2010

“N.Y.U. Releases Images of Bleecker St. Tower Plan,” The Villager, June 16 - 22, 2010

“N.Y.U. Unveils Rezoning for its Two Superblocks,” The Villager, June 2 - 8, 2010

“Too Big to Fail?  N.Y.U. Keeps Growing and Growing . . . ,” The Villager, April 28 - May 4, 2010

“Critics Turn Out at Open House on N.Y.U. Expansion, “ NYT, April 14, 2010

“N.Y.U. Hopes to Start Building on Superblocks Within 2 Years,” The Villager, April 7 - 13, 2010

“N.Y.U. Plans to Expand Campuses by 40 Percent,” NYT, March 20, 2010

“Two Hundred Turn Out to Try to Head Off N.Y.U. Growth,” The Villager, July 1 - 7, 2009

“N.Y.U. Zeros in On Tower, Plinth, ‘Zipper’,” The Villager, April 23 - 29, 2008

“Nip N.Y.U. Growth,” Letters to the Editor, The Villager, Feb. 20 - 26, 2008

“N.Y.U. Goes Gonzo on Its Superblock in New Ideas,” The Villager, Feb. 6 - 12, 2008

NYU 2031


“N.Y.U. Offers an Accord On Growth,” NYT, Jan. 30, 2008

“N.Y.U Agrees to new Planning Principles from B.P. Taskforce,” The Villager, Jan. 30 - Feb. 5, 2008

“NYU Throws Community a Landmark Bone; Supports Designating Pei’s Towers,” NY Observer, Feb. 11, 2008

“How Much of N.Y.U. Superblock to Landmark is Issue,” The Villager, July 2 - 8, 2008

“N.Y.U. is Really Growing on Us, Not in a Good Way,” The Villager, September 24 - 30, 2010


“N.Y.U. Commits to Creating a Master Plan for Its Growth,” The Villager, March 7 - 10, 2007

“N.Y.U. President Wants Less Conflict, More Conversation ,” The Villager, May 2 - 8, 2007

“N.Y.U. Growth is on the Charts:  More Students, More Buildings,” June 20 - 26, 2007

“With Door Open to Neighbors, N.Y.U. Shapes Plans for Growth,” NYT, July 2, 2007

“N.Y.U. Eyes Superblock for Super-sizing Plan,” The Villager, Dec. 12 - 18, 2007


“Strip Poker on Superblocks; Does N.Y.U. Hold the Cards,” The Villager, June 23 - 29, 2004

“Strip Show and Tell -- N.Y.U. Exposed,” The Villager, June 23 -29, 2004

“Sparks Fly Over Strips at Parks Committee Meeting,” The Villager, Oct. 13 - 19, 2004

“It’s Time for N.Y.U. to Stop Blocking Superblocks Transfer,” The Villager, Oct. 13 - 19, 2004

“The Townsfolk Rebel Against Omnipotent NYU, Again,” The Villager, Oct. 20 - 26, 2004

Articles and Listings

American Community Garden Association

“It’s Raining Coyotes and Roosters Out There,” NYT, Jan. 21, 2010

“LaGuardia Corner Gardens,” Blogspot, May 30, 2011

Place Matters, City Lore and the Municipal Art Society

“Plant Therapy:  LaGuardia Community Garden,” Apartment Therapy, June 2, 2007

“Secret Gardens,” The Morning News, Oct. 24, 2007

“Whodunnit Dept. Bird Nap,”  The New Yorker, July 9, 2007

Parks Department Rules for Gardens

An agreement between the Mayor of New York and the NYS Attorney General, signed in 2002, expired September 2010.  It has been replaced by rules issued by the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation.

The NYC Community Garden Coalition, which represents NYC’s nearly 300 community gardens, continues to seek permanent protection for the gardens. The rules issued by the Parks Dept. can be modified or revoked by future City administrations and, therefore, do not assure permanence for the gardens -- even those that have been flourishing for decades.


Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation

Mollie Parness Dress Up Your Neighborhood

In Remembrance

In April 2007 the garden planted the Love and Peace rose in honor and remembrance of Auxiliary Police Officers Nicholas Pekearo and Eugene Marshalik of the Sixth Precinct, who died while in pursuit of the killer of Alfredo Romero Morales. 

Participants in Children’s Program

The Cooke Center Academy

Little Red Schoolhouse

PS 41 - The Greenwich Village School

The Village Community School


In the summer of 2007 the garden participated in field research conducted by a graduate student at Columbia University.  Kristy King hypothesized that gardens with increased plant structural complexity (more trees and shrubs as opposed to just vegetable crops) would have more beneficial insects and, in turn, fewer pests. 

The results of her research led to the conclusion that community gardeners need not scale back food production in order to decrease the population of pests. Parasitoid wasps that feed on pests are capable of "tracking" pest populations across a large and urbanized landscape. Increasing the number of street trees around each garden may facilitate the movement of beneficial insects throughout the urban matrix, so this may be one way for gardeners to manage for healthy insect populations within their gardens.  Perhaps the large-scale tree planting initiative that is a part of Plan NYC 2030 will enhance the diversity of beneficial insects in community gardens, while also increasing air quality and reducing the urban heat island effect in New York City.

Useful Sites

Brooklyn Botanical Garden

Celebrate Urban Birds

Citizens Committee for New York

City Garden Guide

Clinton Community Garden

Grow NYC

Earth Celebrations

Garden Visit

Green Guerillas


More Gardens

National Wildlife Federation

Neighborhood Open Space Coalition

NYC Community Gardens Coalition

NYC Dept. of Parks & Recreation

New York Botanical Garden

New York Restoration Project

New Yorkers for Parks

The Villager

Trust for Public Land