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Section of Rutherford Place Designated as Play Street

Dear Neighbors,

Friends Seminary hopes that each of you are enjoying these final days of summer. Next week Friends will begin our upcoming 2018-2019 academic year, which at its conclusion will see the planned completion of the school’s expansion and renovation project in Fall 2019.

In the coming months the 16th Street Townhouse buildings will begin to be enclosed, at which point the remaining phase of the project will consist largely of interior work to build out the new classroom spaces. As always, the school is deeply appreciative of our neighbors’ continued patience as we move to complete this important academic renovation.

Next week also marks the beginning of an important new program for our students. On Wednesday, September 5, Friends, in coordination with the NYC Department of Health and the NYC Department of Transportation, will be opening a School Play Street along the southern end of Rutherford Place between East 16th and East 15th Streets, directly adjacent to the school. Play Streets provide a safe area for school students to participate in recreational and fitness activities during the day. Friends began exploring the possibility of opening a Play Street in response to the temporary loss of program space inside the school due to interior construction. In an effort to minimize the construction footprint within the neighborhood, the school has stored a large amount of construction materials in the inner courtyard area, which has displaced many students who previously used this space for athletic and recreational play. In addition, construction has proceeded inside the school’s gymnasium, which has further reduced the amount of usable play space.

Friends sought and received approval to open a Play Street, which will allow students to receive fitness programming not available to many grade levels over the two prior academic years.

A few points of information about the School Play Street and its use:

  • The southern end of Rutherford Place between 16th and 15th Streets (the location of the Play Street) is an existing No Parking/No Standing Zone.

  • The hours when the Play Street will be in open are 8 AM – 5 PM, Monday to Friday.

  • The Play Street will be open for approximately 170 days between September 2018 and mid-June 2019. It will not be open on weekends nor on holidays.

  • Students will be supervised at all times.

  • Pedestrians will still be able to walk along the sidewalks when the Play Street is open, however the street will be closed to vehicular traffic.

  • Access and egress to Stuyvesant Square Park will not be impacted by the Play Street.

  • Friends will clean the southern end of Rutherford Place twice (2X) daily – once before 8 AM and once at 5 PM.

Friends is both grateful for and appreciative of this opportunity, and we hope the opening of the Play Street will not inconvenience our neighbors. For more information about the Play Street, we invite anyone to view a presentation prepared by Friends, by clicking here.

For any immediate questions, please do not hesitate to contact the school at or by phone at (646) 979-5225.


Friends Seminary

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