Despite all of the preconceived notions about New York City being overpopulated, noisy and constantly bustling, there are numerous pockets within the five boroughs that offer respite from the city. This design strives to be one such pocket – or island. Governors Island has a long military history that dates back to 1776. It was controlled by the U.S. Government first for the U.S. Army and later for the Coast Guard. In 2002 the island was “sold” to the people of New York and declared a national monument. In 2010, Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Paterson agreed on the future operations, planning and redevelopment of the island through the Trust for Governors Island. Since then, the island has been open during the summer months for visitors to enjoy the unique seclusion offered by the the old military grounds. But the Trust had bigger plans. Choosing a team of architects, urban planners, designers and landscape architects that include Rogers Marvel Architects, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Mathews Nielsen and led by West 8, plans began to unfold that would reimagine the island as a getaway for New Yorkers. Playing up to its isolation, its abundance of lawns and trees, and the views that it offers, the first phase of the plans have officially broken ground and are scheduled for completion in Fall 2013.
Check out what’s in store for Governors Island after the break.
Just 800 yards from the tip of Lower Manhattan, Governors Island is hosting Mark di Suvero’s monumental sculptures, organized by Storm King Art Center. The sculpture garden is open to all visitors to Governors Island, which will be accessible this season until September 27, 2011. More images and information after the break.
With this stifling heat wave New Yorkers are trying to brave, it is hard to take refuge in the city filled with skyscrapers and traffic. This summer, we are flocking to parks along the edge of the Island to relax amidst a sea of greenery, catching some breezes off the water while enjoying the amazing views of the skyline and different bridges. This step marks an important part in our history, as prior to this, as Nathan Ward in an Op-Ed for the New York Times put it, we have shied away from “claiming our waterfront.” In Ward’s article, he outlines the history of the waterfront, explaining that as the ports’ economy slowed down toward the end of the 1900s, the abandoned piers became “a ghost town between landlubbers and the water” where no one wanted to be, let alone live. Within the past few years, we are beginning to discover the potential the waterfront has to offer. And, areas that have been rundown and vacant for years are now getting green makeovers and contributing more and more feet of parkscape for New Yorkers to enjoy.
Whether you are closest to Governors Island, the West Side or perhaps Brooklyn, here’s the scoop on three fairly recent park developments we hope all can enjoy.