Save The Tompkins Square Park Asphalt

Sign the Petition

Update — July 1, 2019 — 6 P.M: The Parks Department reached out to the skate community and will hold a meeting about the matter early next week. Will add any new info once we get it. Please keep your #savetompkins posts respectful so our cause gets given the same respect.

The city approved a plan to cover the asphalt at Tompkins Square Park A.K.A. The T.F. with synthetic turf. On the Parks Department’s “Projects” page for Tompkins, the only mention of anything in this vein is a proposed project labeled “Multipurpose Play Area Pavement Reconstruction.” The community that spends much of their days in this portion of the park was not consulted, and only found out that it had been approved a month after the fact, with Tompkins’ resurfacing crammed in with other sites where they intend to do the same.

A multi-use, open asphalt area in the East Village is scarce. If the city goes ahead with this approved plan, it would alienate many of the end users of the park, who have called it a home for decades, and built a community around this small patch of sacred asphalt.

Skateboarding has been a part of Tompkins Square Park since the 1980s, when Shut Skateboards would lug over makeshift ramps and throw contests there. Skaters continued to call Tompkins a home ever since. In the years after 9/11, when much of the city was under lockdown and the places we skated in before became closed off for security measures, Tompkins became a hassle-free refuge for the skate community thanks to the nearby ABC and Autumn Skateshops, who would bring ramps to the park, and store them in their stores overnight. We have quite literally shoveled snow out of the way to skate here before.

This isn’t only about skateboarding. A roller hockey league calls Tompkins home on weekends. If you’re trying to teach your son or daughter to ride a bike or any roller sport, you take them to an open asphalt field like this one. And while skateparks have become more abundant in New York City, if someone is learning how to skate, they are definitely not going to a high velocity atmosphere like a skatepark to learn how to ride.

Tompkins is an unshakeable part of our community. Much of the details about the resurfacing remain foggy. Many people have reached out asking how to help convince the city that a synthetic turf field here is a giant mistake. Several different threads are being tugged on with regards to how we should proceed on this issue, but in the meantime, we ask that you sign the petition that was started so Parks can get a sense of just how much this place means to us.

We will keep you updated on any and all developments as soon as we hear them.

33 Comments

  1. Please reconsider repaving Thompkins Square Park. The Park means so much to the community and the community loves it the way it is. A great place to learn to ride a bike dribble a basketball rollerblade roller skate roller hockey skateboard and more. The people of the community love this park and changing it will only push away the people who enjoy using it so much. This park means so much to so many people. I respectfully ask that you reconsider any changes and consult the faithful patrons who love this park so much and who have made Thompkins Square Park not only a local gem but a national treasure.

  2. As New York City has been very influential on skateboarding, this area of asphalt at Tompkins Square Park is very much a part of skateboarding history. It would be removing a central cultural element of Tompkins Square Park to put astro turf in the same place. Please strongly reconsider this plan.

  3. Don’t kill the scene, it’s a terrible thing. Especially if you don’t understand what it is or means that you’re destroying. Or eventually sooner or later you shall reap what you sow.

  4. I’m not a skater I’m a bmx rider but most of my friends are skaters and a couple really go to Tompkins so please don’t take away Tompkins.

  5. Leave Tompkins alone, it’s a vital part of not only the NYC scene, but the skate community as a whole

  6. Stop changing NYC! It’s awesome for a reason. Skateboarding is part of the culture and should be protected and considered.

  7. I play soccer these days but I rode skateboards when I was younger and I lived half a block from the park for many years. TSP doesn’t need an artificial turf field! Save the concrete!!

  8. There’s plenty of grass area in the park. Please don’t put in turf it smells like rotting tires especially in the summer heat. The asphalt has its own community of skateboarders, roller hockey, rollerbladers etc. it’s good clean fun for so many of the East Village youth. And it’s not like there’s another open space like this nearby. He will be altering their lives in very negative way.

  9. The asphalt area in tompkins park is a place not only for skate borders on a daily basis, but also hosts weekend roller hockey groups and sport tournaments held by NYC sport groups. Any change will impact numerous people negatively, including kids learning how to skate, high schoolers, young professionals, etc.

  10. My buddy Russ participates in street hockey here every weekend. It means a lot to him and, to be honest, is the only thing he has going in his life. I know it’s sad, but this asphalt is the only thing keeping him going. If he loses street hockey, then he’s just another loser working in a suit during the day

  11. Please keep Tompkins Square Park for our kids to skate and stay out of trouble!

  12. My son’s school,. (Earth School) uses this space for a variety of events. This would be a loss!

  13. Why kill the kid’s fun.There’s hardly anything else to do. Keep the pavement.Putting fake grass down wont stop kids from smoking it so just leave it alone.

  14. Talk to Steve Rodriques and some sponsors possibly Addidas or Nike and offer the city to pay for a resurfacing of polished concrete. Who knows maybe a sculpture Garden that’s skateable designed by Mark Gonzales. Art is something everyone can enjoy and would not waste the city’s money on an Astro turf field.‍♂️

  15. Ayo s/o Billy mf Rohan who rolled up his sleeves, got involved at 12th and A and cultivated some awesome years/memories — mad obstacles to skate, contests, sponsors, even got the DOE on board! Impossible is just a skate trick

  16. Hey Nike/Cons and Adidas – You guys should listen to your friend Billy Rohan, he’s a cool dude.
    He’s trying to help you out.

  17. Hi my name is killian i am fifteen and spent the first 7 years of my life living on ave. A between 9th and 10th streets next to the bodega across the street for the courts. When i was 5 my dad taught me how to ride my first bike in tomkins square park. I now live in queens but still go there all the time to skate ive been skating since i was about nine and have learned so much in the time ive been going to that park. i and so many other skaters bikers basketball players etc. would be so disappointed if there were any changes that would cause it to no longer be usable so please i ask that the city reconsider there plans on adding turf to the park. Thank you.

  18. Yooooo save Tompkins for the love of skateboading!!!!! Skating literally saved my life and so many others as well!!

  19. Please keep this park the way it is for the people who appreciate it and use it the most!

  20. Skating is like surfing on concrete. It is a special time of bonding and a skill set that ignites dialogue and camaraderie. It is an important street culture that ignites ideas and forges relationships. Protecting the space for the skaters is critical. Especially in a changing city where economics continues to force people out of their own neighborhoods. Gentrification. I support their right to have this space and a future space for this endeavors.

  21. City should just paint some street soccer court markings and anti vandal goal posts and everyone should be able to share peacefully.


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