Report #1 to our fellow Museum Block residents from the Directors of the West 78th Street Museum Block Association
October 8, 2016
Greetings for the fall season!
The purpose of this memo is to bring you up to date about our urgent current projects and future plans. Much has happened since we last communicated. Before addressing our primary concerns, here is a summary of what we accomplished thus far.
1. We created a website, which may be visited via www.W78MBA.org.
2. We updated our Association Bylaws and Articles of Association and obtained 501 (c) 3 tax status from the IRS and NYS.
3. We compiled a detailed census of the 53 buildings, 330 living units and 47 trees on our block.
4. We assembled a strictly private master list of eddresses and phone numbers for block residents who have submitted this information to facilitate communication.
5. We developed a comprehensive plan to protect and maintain our street trees based on an evaluation made in conjunction with the NYC Parks Department and Urban Arborists.
Our proposed work at this moment covers two phases.
Phase One: Tree pit enlargement and new tree plantings
In order to enlarge the tree pits, Urban Arborists will cut and remove the concrete next to small existing tree pits. Gas lines will not be touched, and any other structures will be carefully removed or adjusted, as needed. The existing looped iron tree wells and bricks—many broken or bent—will also be removed and replaced in Phase Two. The dirt around existing trees in the enlarged pits will be professionally prepared. New trees will be planted. We have been advised that this work should be done before the onset of winter. Depending on the weather, this phase could well be completed in approximately one week’s working time.
Phase Two: Tree Guards
Once all of the tree pits are enlarged we will proceed with the design, fabrication and installation of custom uniform tree guards. There are no requirements for tree guards, but numerous guidelines exist to prevent abuse from inconsiderate pet owners. The city has a useful website: (https://www.nycgovparks.org/trees/tree-care/tree-guards) that describes various design options.
In addition, a resident of the block who is an accomplished, professional sculptress, has drafted several lovely designs that will be posted on our website. Design choices will be made after the tree pit enlargements are completed once we have exact measurements for the ironwork required.
Our website contains information concerning all proposed work for the enlargement of tree pits and pictures of every tree and tree pit on the block.
Urban Arborists’ proposal for the Phase One work amounts to approximately $20,000, about $400 per building. Since we are now a 501 (c) 3 entity, contributions to our Block Association fund are tax deductible. Contributions may be made by check or through our secure website, www.W78MBA.org., and we will be in touch with you again about this shortly.
We are now looking for comments and suggestions from anyone on the block. Take a look at the pictures and then send us your questions.
See you all on Halloween!!
Kirkpatrick MacDonald, Gillian Mollod, Stuart Liebman,
Joan Finsilver, Neal Dhar and Lee Bryant