A park a few blocks away from Rose Hill is getting a fresh makeover.
Bryan Park has been part of the Bronx, N.Y., for over a century, ever since New York City acquired the area in 1913.The park received its name in 1933, when the spot was dedicated to New York native John Fraser Bryan, who died serving the country in World War I.
Bryan Park is set to become a spot on East Fordham Road where students can kick back and relax. The area will feature pockets of green space, a plaza with benches and even food.
Located at the intersection of East Fordham Road, East Kingsbridge Road and Bainbridge Avenue, the park has been under reconstruction for a few months.
The Fordham Road Business Improvement District announced the plans to upgrade Bryan Park in May 2012, with the goal of opening the space in 2013, but improvements to East Kingsbridge Road and a design change pushed the initiative back.
Daniel Bernstein, deputy director of the Fordham Road BID, said that the park will give Bronx residents, including Fordham students, people a chance to relax outdoors in the warmer months.
“When the weather is nice, people will go out,” Bernstein said. “That helps business by getting people out to the streets, and therefore they will see businesses in that area.”
Little China City, Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonalds are all located near the space. When the spring and summer months come around, residents in the community will get the chance to eat burgers, donuts and General Tso’s chicken outdoors.
There will also be an eatery at Bryan Park itself. Bernstein said a food concession stand may be in the works somewhere down the road, but that could take some time.
“I don’t think you are going to see an immediate concession stand, maybe a truck” he said. “We’ll see how it goes with a pilot program and we’ll see how the public responds.”
The park will not just be for munching on grub and drinking Dunkin’ Donuts coffee; cultural and community events will also be held in the park.
As for when Bryan Park will be completed, the plan is to get the remodeling completed during the summer or early fall so it will be a place for students to go in the 2014-2015 school year.
Louis Salaun, GSB ’15, lives in O’Hare. He said the opportunity to hang out in a park off-campus would give him a chance to go beyond the Fordham University gates.
“Well, I think a park opening would be a great idea,” Salaun said. “We all know how hectic Fordham Road is, so a park would be a nice change of pace from the constant hustle and bustle, and personally, I would love to meet some people off campus who aren’t students just for a change of pace.”
Not everyone is excited about a newly renovated park opening up on Fordham Road.
Joe Lynch, FCRH ’15, also lives in O’Hare Hall, and said he has no intention of going to Bryan Park.
“I wouldn’t go to the park because it’s inconvenient and out of the way,” Lynch said. “The only time I make it that far up Fordham Road is if I am getting on a subway somewhere.”
“I would much rather walk over to Eddie’s [Parade] and be there, as opposed to a busy intersection sandwiched between Dr. Jay’s and Dunkin’ Donuts.”
While the park is relatively small, especially compared to Fordham Plaza, a spot for students to do homework or kick back outside of the gates is a positive addition to the area.
Though Joe Lynch currently sees the intersection on East Fordham Road and East Kingsbridge Road as an eyesore on his way to the D train, Daniel Bernstein said he hopes people view the park differently when the remodeling is finished.
“[The goal] is really trying to drive people out to that area because Fordham Road might just be a place people pass through; we want people to hang out a little more.”