Skip to comments.Lessons of the Wollman Rink [NYTimes Opinion Page, Nov. 13, 1986]
Posted on 12/20/2015 5:37:34 PM PST by Silly
New York City bungled the job of reopening Central Park's Wollman Skating Rink for six years, wasting millions. Then last June, city officials said it would take two more years to correct the mistakes and complete the job.
The fumbling aroused the managerial spirit of Donald Trump, the real estate developer, who offered to take over.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
I hope my fellow FReepers enjoy this wonderful editorial.
Look for another post presently, featuring a YouTube clip of coverage of Wollman’s reopening by CBS Evening News.
Watch yer backs, sports fans.
He told the story of the Wollman Rink at his last rally in Iowa. It was absolutely hilarious listening to it, and the thinking outside the box was eye opening. And the solutions were so simple.
The Wollman Skating Rink thing is how I first became aware of Donald Trump. Ed Koch was mayor at the time.
It was such an amazingly classy and skillful thing to do that it won the admiration even of liberals in NYC.
The Wollman skating rink had been an eyesore for decades before Trump fixed it.
The real eyesore is the Wicks Law. Did they trash it?
i remember this whole episode well...my dad was NYPD for 23 years and the middle portion of his career was spent in SEU (street enforcement unit) in Central Park when they had the summer music festival there...
i would go to concerts (Earl Scruggs, Average White Band, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Todd Rudngren, so many more) and sit on the stage...
we were suppose to go see Don McClean but it rained- for three days which caused a flood which eventually set off all the problems...and in typical NYC fashion the place became a cesspool both literally and figuratively until Trump saved it...once a year (last Friday as a matter of fact) we skate at the Wollman-Trump rink during the holidays...crappy rink but can’t beat the scenery...
Please ping me if you would.
They got around it. Trump did it on his own dime. Koch dealt with the City Council. Before the unions could get in gear to stop it, it was finished.
I'm sure this will be scrubbed from the NY Slimes' website.
I hope you find this ping-worthy, and share it widely.
Post 2 of 2.
Government waste is compounded when the unions are involved.
Seems the New York Times forgot...
Thanks, another lesson in government’s incompetent thanks to its sheer size.
I love how Trump keeps repeating his Wollman Rink story at his rallies. My favorite highlights:
1. He completed the project weeks before the deadline and under budget.
2. It took him only 3 1/2 months, when others failed for 6 years, and expected another 2 years at least to complete it, leaving the site in Central Park a shambles and an eyesore.
3. Of the approx. $1.8MM he spent to get this project done (if my figure is correct), most of the money was spent digging out and removing the cement and debris and failure of the past projects. The actual new rink construction was a relatively minor portion of the budget.
4. He bought in an advisor from Montreal, Canada who knew how to build a skating rink; the previous failed contractor was from Florida.
5. MY FAVORITE PART: The failed contractors could not pour a level cement foundation for the rink. As you know, if you’re going to pour water and freeze it, you want the surface to be as perfectly level and flat as possible. The previous incompetents poured sections at a time, and there were large differences in heights over the entire surface of the rink. So some lower sections required water so deep it would not freeze, to make up for sections that were higher. Trump’s plan was ingenious: He filled the surface of concrete in ONE CONTIGUOUS POUR, necessitating many, many cement trucks lined all the way up to Harlem, presumably on Fifth Avenue, also known as Central Park East, all prepared to parade into the construction site with fresh wet cement, and keep pouring until it was done in one shot. IT WAS A TWENTY-EIGHT HOUR POUR. He used lasers as tools to make sure it was level.
In The Art of the Deal, there is a great photo of Trump taken in October 1986, the month before the official opening and ribbon-cutting, proudly standing alone on the vast surface of the perfectly level new rink with Midtown Manhattan in the background. It’s a sight to behold.
Trump is simply amazing.
You’d think those brainiacs in government would realize when it’s time to rip it all out and start over. But their bureaucratic arrogance and deluded belief in their own competence just illustrates an ongoing recipe for failures, past, present and future.
I’ve learned from the Old Testament that sometimes you have to tear down before you can build. A strategy few people are willing to undertake, if in fact they think of it at all.
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