Fourth phase of Riverside Park South completes
The fourth phase of a multi-phase project to design Riverside Park South, New York City’s largest new greensward on the West Side, recently completed. The park, which has been under construction over the past decade and will have 29 acres when complete, is the last link in a continuous riverfront promenade connection that stretches from Battery Park to 125th Street.
The work of Thomas Balsley Associates, the design strives to transform this piece of the Hudson River shoreline into a waterfront park that celebrates New York’s industrial and transportation heritage while being ecologically sensitive to its river edge environment. One of the bold moves is the relocation of the Miller Highway beneath the proposed Riverside Drive South extension, providing residents the opportunity to walk directly to the park and river without obstruction.
The park offers many recreational opportunities and amenities including an amphitheatre, athletic facilities, community gardens, open lawns, café terraces and public art. Other features include a boardwalk that spans four city blocks, a bicycle path stretching from the Cloisters to the tip of Manhattan, and Pier 1, which stretches 750- feet into the Hudson.
"Whether it is marsh grasses and the path today, or it's Pier I and the little café at its foot tomorrow, each day you'll notice and be drawn to something different in Riverside Park South," Balsley said. "It gives me unbelievable satisfaction to see the city reconnected with its river. I think that's a vital part of enhancing the quality of life to living in New York."
Railroad-themed elements, such as the remains of the former cargo Pier D and rail company logos carved into large granite seating slabs, give insight to Riverside Park South's history as the site of the former 60th Street Rail Yard. The final phase of the park will include an installation of a restored 1940s Alco S-1 switcher locomotive.