If you have ever appreciated the beautiful flowers in the spring lining the malls down Park Avenue or the sparkling lights at the holidays, you have The Fund for Park Avenue to thank. Since 1980, this privately-funded beautification program has been responsible for the planting and maintenance of the lovely tulips and flowering trees in the spring and colorful begonias all summer long that enhance one of the most well traveled avenues in the world.
In addition, The Fund manages one of New York’s most beloved traditions – the annual Park Avenue Tree Lighting. Begun in 1945 as a memorial to those who lost their lives in World War II, it fell under the auspices of The Fund in 1981.
Lit on the first Sunday of December the trees are a reminder to those who have served as well as a celebration of the season. It is a festive occasion that attracts thousands.
In addition to the plantings and lightings, the malls have become a showplace for works of art, presented by The Sculpture Committee of The Fund and the Public Art Program of the City of New York’s Department of Parks & Recreation. The spring, nine pieces by Venezuelan artist, Rafael Barrios line the malls from 50th to 68th streets.
Many of you may remember last year’s installation of Will Ryman‘s “The Roses,” 38 enormous blossoms adorned with brass aphids, ladybugs, beetles, ants.
All of this work is accomplished by the generosity of the community and the fund’s contributors. I attended a reception earlier this week, celebrating the spring tulips and the Fund’s work. Appropriately held at the Park Avenue institution Scully & Scully, the store donated a percentage of its sales for three days to enhance The Fund’s coffers.
Since 1934, this venerable destination has been offering traditional home furnishings, gifts, bridal registry, interior design and tabletop consulting in its gracious and upscale environment.
The fun venue for the evening included five tabletop designs inspired by books, blogs and their authors.
Mathew Patrick Smyth’s Living Traditions was the basis for his fresh spring design. A nesting of Bernardaud’s Phoebe Constance sat on a Herend charger coordinated with Waterford’s classic Lismore Essence. I think I may need that beautiful William Yeoward hurricane.
Friend Melissa Morris who pens her eponymous blog assembled a cheerful design with all the primary brights we are seeing on the runway.
Melissa used one of my favorite patterns – the graphic Hermes Balcon Du Guadalquivir with William Yoeward cobalt goblets and the chic Lulu cocktail shaker.
As the author of New York Parties: Private Views, Jamee Gregory had literally a volume of inspiration at her fingertips.
Handpainted Herend was a pretty ode to nature’s spring bounty.
Hilary Geary Ross collaborated with famed photographer Harry Benson to produce New York New York, a compilation of portraits of distinguished New Yorkers.
Her pretty in pink table with Meissen’s Oriental Flowers and William Yeoward crystal maintained a light attitude and sense of humor with the whimsical silver chimps.
I loved all the pretty silver accents
The authors of The Rooftop Gardens: The Terraces, Conservatories, and Balconies of New York, Denise LeFrak Calicchio and Roberta Amon, created a tabletop worthy of their editorial features.
The stunning seasonal green and lavender palette would look beautiful in any venue! Anna Weatherly’s hand painted pieces are amazing works of artistry.
I love the green St. Louis Bubbles coup – a beautiful versatile classic interpreted for the season in a vibrant green.
It was a fun evening catching up with friends – here Melissa and James Andrew of What is James Wearing (Melissa’s husband Chappy makes a cameo appearance in the background),
and toasting to a New York City organization that helps keep our city vibrant and beautiful.