his spring a year after our beloved showpiece basket at the South Broadway/Armory Place traffic island was damaged beyond repair by a car, we celebrated the replacement of a replica planted and sponsored by Amodio’s Garden Center, one of WPBF’s diamond sponsors. The project was been a collaboration between WPBF and the City of White Plains’ Department of Public Works. WPBF commissioned the construction of the original basket in 1996 and donated it to the city, where it stood laden with vibrant flowers and foliage until last year.
After much discussion about materials, size, waterproofing and how to proceed, WPBF and the City sought a craftsman who could essentially replicate the basket. Winning the bid was Frank Usowski, a custom homes builder. The new basket weighs approximately 3,000 pounds and is made of red cedar that is naturally resistant to rot and insects. The wood has been left natural to weather into shades of gray. At night the basket will be lit with LED bulbs in the basket handle and from the exterior.
Among the members of WPBF and city officials on hand to watch the installation were (see photo #7 in slide show above captioned “WPBF members and city officials” – from left) Cecelia Spilotros, Joanna D’Addario, Mary Ann DeRosa, Mayor Thomas Roach, Cormac Daly, Deputy DPW Commissioner Stefania Mignone, DPW Commissioner Richard Hope, Jean Bello, Deborah Donahoe.
To see the installers in action, click here and here and here.