New York City, NY
United States
1249 5th Ave. Joel Schnaper Memorial Garden since 1 December 1995
one name
Joel Schnaper Memorial Garden: An Urban Oasis of Peace and Tranquility
The Joel Schnaper Memorial Garden was Dirtworks, PC’s first commission. Built in 1995 on the roof at Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center in East Harlem, N.Y., the firm recently donated hours to help redesign and rebuild the garden.
In 2004, building upgrades forced the reconstruction project to move forward. The Terrance Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center is a long-term care facility that provides services to the elderly and residents with a range of developmental disabilities and chronic illnesses, including AIDS.
The recipient of national and regional design awards and featured in television documentaries, the garden was built entirely through small donations and volunteer labor.

This 3,000 square foot rooftop terrace provides a therapeutic garden setting for patients at the facility. Welcoming all residents, visitors and staff of this 700-bed long term care facility, the garden’s design focuses on the specific needs of HIV patients.
A choice of protective settings is offered, for individual comfort. Special areas are featured with floor painting to provide interest and orientation within the garden and when viewed from rooms above.
The Joel Schnaper Memorial Garden was the recipient of the 1995 ASLA Merit Award in General Design.

A Gathering Place
The garden also serves as a convenient location for social activities, ranging from parties to exercise classes to small gatherings. This project shows the effectiveness of gardens to influence and enhance the quality of the health care environment. It advances the idea that properly planned and operated gardens can reduce stress and encourage a sense of well-being for long-term health care patients.
Materials were chosen to extend the life of the garden for decades of enjoyment. Ms Fierle, Director of therapeutic recreation at Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center, describes the Schnaper Garden as a “… healing garden, which has truly been a source of joy, delight, and inspiration for our residents and their families.”

About the Firm
Dirtworks, PC is an internationally recognized and award-winning landscape architecture firm. Its designs enhance the restorative quality of the natural environment. Established in 1995 by David Kamp, FASLA, LF, the firm is committed to design excellence and environmental sensitivity, personal commitment and collaboration. Dirtworks provides a full range of professional services with a staff of technically trained and design-oriented landscape architects.
Mr. Kamp, is the recipient of the 2003 William E. Simon Award for his exceptional commitment to the Schnaper Garden residents and patients. The award was given by the Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center Malta Volunteer Services.

Photos (C) Dirtworks

16 April 2010
David Kamp, FASLA, LF and Deanna Medina, New York City