City Landscape Architect David Moser Dies

Thomas Breen PhotoThe city’s longtime landscape architect, David Moser, has died at the age of 65 after a long fight with cancer.

His death came on the same day as the formal opening of one of his most notable achievements, the redesign and expansion of the Edgewood Skate Park.

In his more than 20 years with the city, Moser worked on countless projects, large and small, leaving “his mark on every public space in the city,” said Director of Parks, Recreation and Trees Rebecca Bombero. 

They ranged from modest projects such as the plantings on the medians on Woodward Avenue and those on “Harvey’s Walk” in Wooster Square to large projects such as the erosion control infrastructure improvements at Long Wharf Park..

And every time you see a splash pad in the city, like the one at Dover Beach in Fair Haven or at Galvin Park at the corner of First Street and Greenwich Avenue in the Hill it’s likely that David Moser not only helped design it but spent endless hours attending community meetings, and genuinely listening to peoples requirements and concerns.

“Dave was at his best working with the community and interpreting their ideas into his designs. He was extremely soft spoken, incredibly meticulous and dedicated. Even as he was struggling with cancer, ” Bombero added, “he wanted to see his projects through.”

Nowhere was that more evident than his work on the skate facility in Edgewood Park. SeeClickFix’s Ben Berkowitz, a devotee of the sport and the park, said Moser ” was really instrumental in facilitating a community-built skate park. It was a real pleasure to work with him. He expressed a ton of enthusiasm…in learning nuances of skate boarding.”

Berkowitz said that as a result of Moser’s close listening and close work, the reopened skate park is now not only a local gem but a regional attraction. “He told me multiple times this project is most enjoyable he’d worked on in his time with the city,” Berkowitz said, and that was because there was so much involvement from the park’s users, and Moser enthusiasm thrived on theirs.

David Moser grew up in Malverne, N.Y., on Long Island, and received his training at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, from which he graduated cum laude in 1976. He is survived by his wife Marie and his children Max Greger-Moser, Lucy Greger-Moser, and Paige Greger-Moser.

“Of the many things people loved about him is that he was honest, hard working, humble,” Marie said. “And he always made sure that those who did the job,” the hard work of construction, bringing to life what was designed, got paid and recognized.

Moser this year received the City Spirit Award as part of local government’s birthday celebration. The Historic Wooster Square Association honored him in 2017. Peter Webster, who worked with him on beautifying Wooster Square, recalled him as “quiet, shy, unassuming, and relentless in his pursuit of beauty and the design of the ephemeral. Everywhere one goes in ye olde NHV, one sees a touch of his gentle hand: a swipe of color here, a perfect vista there, a median’s worth of bloom metronoming the breeze, a city space, a city park that is practical, efficient, affordable, welcoming, beautiful. “

Click here and scroll to page 12 to read an article Moser recently published about the creation of Cherry Ann Street Park in Newhallville.

Contributed PhotoDuring the final phases of the Edgewood Park skate park’s construction, Moser would call from the hospital to make sure things were being done right. “There has been talk, among skateboarders,  of naming the park after him. I would really hope that is considered, because he was instrumental and the park is his design,” Berkowitz said

A memorial service is being planned, the date to be determined.

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posted by: Paul Wessel on September 13, 2018  8:53am

Dave was a public servant in the truest sense.  Competent, compassionate, hard-working, friendly, and productive.  One of the many unsung heroes of City Hall who did his job exceptionally well.

posted by: elmcityboy on September 13, 2018  9:06am

the small handful of interactions i had with dave moser at those skatepark meetings were really special. he was visibly sick for the majority of the time, but still often the kindest and most outwardly excited person in the room. reading this, it’s apparent that he brought those qualities to the rest of his work and life.

it was disarming to meet a city official who was so interested in skateboarding and skateboarders. they should definitely name the park after him.

r.i.p.

posted by: Rob Smuts on September 13, 2018  11:29am

Dave was hard-working, dedicated, and relentlessly positive about his projects and New Haven - a great public servant and human being. I am very sorry to hear of his passing.

posted by: CHDlugo on September 13, 2018  1:25pm

The City of New Haven will be enjoying and celebrating David Moser’s incredible talent in every park and public space for generations. David left his mark from renovating the monuments, including the Angel of Peace, designing Cherry Ann Street, Wooster Square benches, developing every splash pad, Harvey’s way, the shoreline restoration, lights at Lighthouse Park, the skate park, Edgewood Park pond, DeGale amphitheater,and on and on .  All he did, he did without fanfare. He met with the public, worked endless hours creating plans that reflected the needs and wants of the community.  In the 17 years that I was privileged to work with David, I always marveled at his positive attitude,endless energy and dedication. David made a difference in the City of New Haven.We will all miss him as a friend and as a valued colleague.

posted by: Sabrina-in-NewHaven on September 13, 2018  10:15pm

Having Edgewood Park nearby is my favorite part of living in my neck of the woods. I have countless memories there with my nephew as he grew up from a toddler to an now budding teen. The skate park was a brilliant accidental find one day while out with my nephew.

I might be one of the few middle-agers who think it’s one of the coolest things to happen to the park. I can’t skate to save my life but I love the fact that skateboarders have a place to do their thing. Thank you David Moser for helping New Haveners have amazing spaces to live and love.

posted by: Ali on September 14, 2018  12:29pm

In my first years of working in Landscape Architecture I had the pleasure and good fortune of working with Dave on several projects.  He was kind, thoughtful, dedicated, and passionate about good design and the community.  RIP.

posted by: WMACHQ on September 16, 2018  7:22am

Dave Moser was the best. I was fortunate to work with him on a few projects, and it was always an enjoyable time.
If I had a question regarding some detail that I wasn’t sure of or needed to know where a certain type of fencing material came from, Dave would help me out and take the time to follow-up afterwards.
Every day he would pass me on his bike on the way to City Hall, and no matter what the weather, he had a smile and would say hello.
He was the best.
Bill MacMullen