Stanley E. Michels was a lawyer and politician from Washington Heights who served on the NY City Council from 1978 to 2001 and was active on environmental issues, particularly water quality, and tenants’ rights.
Michels secured, over the years, tens of millions of dollars in capital funds for the restoration of parks in north Manhattan, including the Moses-era Highbridge Pool. He was particularly involved with, and interested in the improvement of Fort Tryon Park, much of which was a gift to the city from John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Year after year, he amended the capital budget and sometimes the expense budget to help parks. He was a board member of the Friends of the Heather Garden, which later became the Fort Tryon Park Trust.
In 2005, the main walkway in Fort Tryon Park, leading north from Margaret Corbin Circle and overlooking the Heather Garden, was named Stan Michels Promenade, in a ceremony led by Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Supreme Court Justice Edward Lehner, Council colleagues Robert Jackson and Gale Brewer, and present and former local elected officials participated in the tribute.