NYPD opens all new, all different Central Park precinct
One of the city's oldest and most active police station houses reopened Tuesday with a 21st century makeover.
The NYPD's Central Park Precinct now boasts modern offices, new computers and a design that honors the landmarked building's history. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the five-year project reflected the hard work the NYPD has done over the last decade to keep the park's 40 million annual visitors safe in the 842-square-foot green space.
Crime in the park has dropped by 20% since 2001, and there hasn't been a homicide in the area since 2002, police said.
"What we have done is give [commanding officer] Capt. Jessica E. Corey and the officers of her command an expanded and thoroughly modernized working environment," the mayor said.
The two-story space has a new roof, an entryway with a glass wall and metal canopy, and new computers with the latest NYPD technology to help patrol the park.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said he was impressed with the state of the art upgrades and the additional 2,300 square feet of space.
"[It] heralds a promising new future while preserving the legacy of the past," Kelly said.
Architect Jacob Wrey Mould created the building in 1870, which originally was a stable. The back of the facility originally faced the York Hill reservoir until it was drained and filled to create the Great Lawn.
In 1936, it was redesigned as a police station and it underwent more renovations in the '50s.
In 2002, the NYPD relocated the precinct to a temporary office after structural decay and a leaky roof made it unsafe to work there. The original retaining wall for the reservoir remained following the renovations and serves as an interior wall on the west side of the precinct.
"This building is the jewel of the police department," Corey said.