Over the past 27 years, the Gramercy Park Block Association has grown into a powerful, highly respected organization of 2,000 people, which advocates for the interests of those who live, work and own businesses in the Gramercy Park Neighborhood. We are a grassroots, proactive community group dedicated to public safety, historic preservation, quality-of-life and community building issues.
In 1831, Samuel B. Ruggles entrusted us with an extraordinary gift – two acres of land that make up Gramercy Park and the residential district that surrounds it. Under the stewardship of the Trustees of Gramercy Park, who have sole responsibility for the maintenance and security of the Park and surrounding sidewalks, the conditions of Ruggles’ original 1831 deed still govern the Park today.
THE BLOCK ASSOCIATION
Over the past three decades, the Gramercy Park Block Association has worked tirelessly to protect the unique historic community of Gramercy Park and its environs. Through a relentless focus on issues of historic preservation, safety and security, and quality of life, and a deep commitment to local charitable endeavors, the GPBA effectively achieves its mission to preserve historic Gramercy Park and to protect the residential nature of the blocks that surround it.
WHAT WE DO
Preservation for us is an active endeavor as threats to the Park and residential nature of the neighborhood are constant. During the recent decades of unparalleled growth and commercial development throughout the City, the GPBA has worked to preserve Mr. Ruggles’ unique treasure as he intended it to be.
Quality of Life
In our role as protectors of the quality of life of our community, we actively address a range of neighborhood concerns including homelessness, traffic congestion, noise pollution, street lighting, nightlife issues, and more. The Block Association has developed important relationships with City agencies, Community Boards and elected officials. It is the strength of these long-standing relationships that have made us such effective advocates for a range of Quality of Life concerns in the community. We are problem solvers and are often the first call that our neighbors make when issues arise.
In order to maintain the safety and security of the Gramercy Park neighborhood, the GPBA fosters a close working partnership with the NYPD – serving as a vital link between the department and the Gramercy Park community. We are the official Community Partner of the Neighborhood Coordination Officers team, who are key local crimefighters.
Neighbors Helping Neighbors
Part of being in a close-knit community is taking care of neighbors in need, and this has been an important mission of the Block Association through our Neighbors Helping Neighbors program. Working with longstanding partners in local community service agencies, we provide support to formerly homeless individuals, people with HIV/AIDS, women and children in city shelters, disabled individuals, veterans and the homebound and frail elderly.
The Gramercy Park Block Association was formed in 1994, after Arlene Harrison’s son was brutally beaten by a random “wilding” gang of about 20 youths outside their home on Gramercy Park. To make something positive come out of this incident, a large group of determined neighbors from every building on Gramercy Park joined together to establish the Gramercy Park Block Association: a grassroots, proactive community group dedicated to public safety, crime prevention, historic preservation, and quality-of-life.
The GPBA has grown into a powerful, highly respected organization of 2,000 members, which serves as Gramercy Park’s voice for all neighborhood interests. The GPBA serves as the liaison between the Gramercy Park community and city agencies, elected officials, historic preservation groups, local BIDs, businesses, institutions, local first responders, and works with residents to make sure neighborhood concerns are addressed.