NYC Mayor opens East River Waterfront Park
New York City Mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg and other city officials were on hand last week to open the first section of the new East River Waterfront Park. Part of a larger $165m project that will eventually revitalize a two mile stretch of the city’s waterfront from the tip of Manhattan to just north of the Manhattan Bridge, the new park will transform the Lower Manhattan and East River waterfronts into a pedestrian-friendly and vibrant public open space destination with sweeping views across the East River and New York Harbour.
Designed by SHoP Architects with Ken Smith Landscape Architect, the new esplanade - open to the public from 6:00am to midnight - provides much-needed outdoor public space for residents, office workers and visitors. Along with new plantings and trees comprised of native coastal species, the park incorporates seating elements evocative of the area’s maritime past and elevated bar stool seating that offers visitors an opportunity to sit next to the railing and look out over the water toward Brooklyn. The railing also doubles as a tabletop on which users can eat, use a laptop or read.
The esplanade also features chaise lounges, game tables, planter walls and waterside benches. The so-called ‘Look-Out’ area, a series of stadium-like steps leading to the water at the foot of Wall Street, will enable visitors to sit and observe the water with unobstructed views. For dogs, there is a dog park featuring a climbing bridge, sand pit, splash pad and doghouse. The entire esplanade is unified by a newly installed purple girder underneath the FDR Drive that will be illuminated at night and visible over the esplanade and across the river.
“The new East River Waterfront Esplanade is the newest jewel on New York’s magnificent Harbour”, said Mayor Bloomberg. “One of the goals of the waterfront plan we unveiled earlier this year is to reconnect New Yorkers to New York City’s more than 500 miles of waterfront and make it part of their everyday lives, and the new esplanade will do that for Lower Manhattan’s tens of thousands of residents, 300,000 plus workers and millions of visitors." Conceived in 2002, completion of the larger project is slated for 2013.