Peter Jay Sharp Volunteer House

By Sabrina  |  February 8, 2013  |  Points of Interest

The Peter Jay Sharp Volunteer House, inside Riverside Park at 107th Street, adapts an existing one hundred year old limestone building in a landmarked park to fresh use. The previous structure was a one-story graffiti-covered red painted parkhouse and was used only for tool storage since there was no heat or water in winter and bathroom facilities were minimal. The awkward layout of the building could accommodate only a few people at a time.

With funding from the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, the LuEsther T. Mertz Advised Fund at New York Community Trust, Booth Ferris Foundation and other private donors, the footprint of the existing one-story building was enlarged slightly, and a mezzanine and a second story were added. The building has year-round heat and water, a plant propagation area, storage space for garden tools and supplies, a restroom, and a kitchenette. The second floor houses the Evelyn Sharp Meeting Room, the ambiance of which has been likened to that of a treehouse. This room functions as a meeting room for volunteer workshops, lectures, and special events. The Peter Jay Sharp Volunteer House serves as the hub for Riverside Park Fund’s extensive Grassroots Volunteer Program. The building is the only public facility in New York City dedicated solely to encouraging and sustaining volunteer park work.