Herman Melville Park
Herman Melville Park is a private pocket park owned by the Lansingburgh Historical Society located along the Hudson River southwest of the intersection of 1st Avenue and 114th Street.
A 2004 “Lansingburgh Village Master Plan” proposed a radically expanded Melville Park, featuring a “tour boat pier/amphitheater stage; passive recreation – river access; gardens – formal/natural; Melville/Lansingburgh History theme; base for historic tours; interpretation – paper boats, beached whale…” It also proposed “requisition of these parcels (vacant) creates a contiguous shoreline park between 114th & 115th linked to Melville House.
The 2004 plan was not exactly a practical one, as the numbers from the report show:
Grant Applications $10,000.00
Parcels from Private Owners $300,000.00.
Grant Administration $5,000.00
Construction Observation $20,500.00
Construction Administration $22,000.00
Clearing and Grubbing $10,000.00
Demolish and Remove Building $25,000.00
Prune Existing Trees $5,000.00
Concrete Pier $100,000.00
Establish Formal Gardens $25,000.00
Ornamental Shrubs $5,000.00
Street Trees (20) $10,000.00
Pedestrian Architectural Lights $50,000.00
Asphalt trail $15,000.00
Picnic Benches $5,000.00
Brick Pavements $10,000.00
Interpretive Kiosk $25,000.00
Signage interp, directional $10,000.00
Shoreline Stabilization $60,000.00
Site Amenities (Benches Trash) $20,000.00
Picnic Barbeque Sites (4) $8,000.00
Screening Fence $10,000.00
Total Project Cost $1,202,500.00
Lansingburgh Village Master Plan. 2004. 78. http://www.cdtcmpo.org/images/linkage_program/RenCoFinal/troylansing.pdf
The 2004 Melville Park total project cost (which was only one of a number of projects in the plan) was roughly equal to the base salary, bonuses, and nontaxable benefits for RPI’s President in 2015 (not including the President’s deferred compensation). It’s unclear where money for all the plans could possibly have been found!