Quick on the heels of the springtime public opening of Pier 1, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation opened the Pier 6 section of the new park this past weekend. The $55 million area features a 1.6-acre playground with a water play space, 21 swings, slides, a 6,000-square-foot sandbox, a marsh garden, a dog run and bikeway and pedestrian promenades. It’s a very spectacular play space. The pier also features a dock that offers free weekend ferry service to Governors Island, which is also now open to the public for the summer season.
Three sand volleyball courts and additional lawns will open up at Pier 6 later this year, and a restaurant with a roof deck will open next year.
Quick on the heels of our terrific if rainy lecture this past Tuesday, we’re thrilled to host another lecture in our Freshkills Park Talks series this upcoming Wednesday evening, May 26th—this time at the Arsenal, on Central Park. We’ll be joined by Tatiana Choulika, Senior Associate at landscape architecture and urban design firm James Corner Field Operations, who will be presenting and discussing the design for the first phase of the Southern quadrant of Freshkills Park. This area of the site hosts some of the most beautiful overlooks and variations of landscape of anywhere onsite, and the design that FO has developed for it is really dynamic and exciting, meeting a host of community-expressed priorities as well as accommodating some of the particular challenges of developing on a former landfill site.
This first phase comprises 20 acres of the full 425 acre-buildout of this quadrant of the park, and it has been designed as a connected series of overlooks, meadows and recreational facilities including walking and biking paths, softball fields, play areas and event spaces. It will also be the first project allowing public access to the top of one of the site’s mounds, with expansive views of Staten Island and beyond. We’re excited about this project and hope you’ll join us to learn more about it and FO’s process in designing it.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 | 6:30-8pm
The Arsenal, Central Park, 3rd floor gallery
830 Fifth Ave, Manhattan
Yes, its official name is Mount Trashmore Park. Virginia Beach is home to one of the earliest conversions of a contemporary sanitary landfill to parkland in the US. The 165-acre site operated for many years as a landfill for waste originating from all over the east coast. High costs of filling and limited capacity led to the landfill’s closure by 1971. Guided by the vision of the director of Virginia’s Department of Health, conversion to parkland proceeded until 1973, when the site was opened to the public. The park now boasts 1.5 miles of trails, picnic grounds, playgrounds, basketball and volleyball courts, two man-made lakes for fishing and a 24,000-square-foot skate park. It is one of Virginia’s most popular parks, attracting approximately 1 million visitors annually.
Groundwater testing at the site has shown no impact from landfill operations. Landfill gas is collected by underground infrastructure–but unlike the Freshkills Park site, the gas at Mount Trashmore is not harvested for energy; it is released at synchronized intervals.
27-acre Stearns Quarry Park opened in 2009 in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago. The site was used as a limestone quarry from 1833 to 1969 by the Illinois Stone and Lime Company, after which it served as a municipal landfill: from 1969 to 1974, dirt, gravel, brick and construction debris were delivered to the site, filling the hole excavated by mining operations.
Guided by a design produced by site design group and landscape architecture firm D.I.R.T. Studio, the City of Chicago began park construction in 2005. As at the Freshkills Park site, coupling landfill closure and park construction required compliance with state regulations about, among other things, topsoil cleanliness and depth. More than 40,000 cubic yards of topsoil were imported to the site. Hundreds of trees were planted. Boardwalks over wetland areas were made of recyled plastic and wood. A stormwater containment system was constructed to catch and treat water before channeling it into the park’s wetlands and pond.
The completed park features a fishing pond and fountain, athletic fields, running paths, a hiking and sledding mound, public event space, a host of native plantings and related birds and wildlife, and an exhibited collection of 400 million-year-old fossils of aquatic animals. The Chicago Park District has put together an MP3 audio tour of the park, guided by a planner and historian, who reviews the site’s history and its current features.
Through an agreement with the State, the City of New York now has sole custody of Governor’s Island and has released its park and public space master plan for the $220 million redevelopment of the 172-acre site. The tantalizing plan has been prepared by Dutch urban design and landscape architecture firm West 8 in partnership with Rogers Marvel Architects, Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, SMWM and Urban Design+ and features a 2.2 mile waterfront promenade, picnic and event lawns, a grove of trees hung with hammocks, man-made marshes and steep, artificial hills that will help to create dramatic overlooks and vistas of lower Manhattan. Also part of the plan are two large-scale development sites for which a deal has not yet been announced (a satellite campus for NYU is one rumored possibility). The City has committed $41.5 million of the $220 million park and public space development price tag thus far. The first phase of construction is expected to begin in 2012.
275,000 people visited Governor’s Island last summer alone, even in advance of park development. This is going to be a hugely popular destination.
We’re very excited to present our most recent phase of design work, in South Park, tonight at the Jewish Community Center of Staten Island. The Freshkills Park development team and park designers from James Corner Field Operations will be there to virtually guide the gathered crowd the first phase of South Park, which will host softball fields, hiking and biking paths, play areas, a parking lot and flexible event spaces. This phase will also be the first project allowing public access to the top of one of the mounds—the smaller of the two mounds in South Park—with its amazing views of Staten Island and the larger region. It’s a really dynamic and interesting design that’s responded to a host of needs and requests from the local communities and still holds strong to the ideals of the 2006 Freshkills Park Draft Master Plan. Hope you can come and check it out tonight!
Wednesday, April 7th, 7-9pm
at the Jewish Community Center of Staten Island
Joan & Alan Bernikow Building
1466 Manor Road, Staten Island NY
Gas Works Park in Seattle, WA is located on the 19.1-acre site of a former Seattle Gas Light Company coal gasification plant. The plant opened in 1906 and closed in 1956 when the City switched to natural gas. The site was abandoned for several years until the City purchased it in 1962; a design combining elements of historic preservation and park design was commissioned from landscape architect Richard Haag in the early 1970s.
The design was remarkable, especially at the time, for retaining and showcasing original infrastructure of the abandoned gas production facilities. (The site now hosts the last extant remnants of coal gasification plants in the US.) Various industrial facilities within the park were converted for new uses: the boiler house, which provided steam for gasification and compressors, became a picnic shelter; the pump house, which pumped gas throughout the facility and to customers, became the play barn; the smoke arrestor hood outside the pump house became a play structure for climbing.
An early brownfield reclamation project, the site’s soil and ground water were cleaned up through bioremediation before the site could be opened for public use. Per state and federal requirements, waste was also removed and/or capped, and air in a portion of the site was sparged to remove benzene. The park opened in 1975 and has been well used and loved since; today it hosts one of Seattle’s largest Fourth of July fireworks events.
As part of its waterfront redevelopment plan, multi-governmental agency Waterfront Toronto is currently in construction of Sherbourne Park, a $28 million storm water treatment facility and public park, near the Lake Ontario shore. Much of the water treatment infrastructure will be visible to park visitors, making more transparent the purification process through features like an ultraviolet treatment pavilion, dramatic channelizing sculptures and biofiltration beds.
The facility’s design has been led by planning, urban design and landscape architecture firm Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg and illustrates, like Freshkills Park, the increased level of collaboration that is becoming more common around large infrastructure projects between engineers, landscape architects and planners.
There are two park sites in New York City that are also sited atop water filtration plants, though neither showcase water filtration quite as prominently: Riverbank State Park sits atop a wastewater treatment facility, and the in-construction Croton Water Filtration Plant in the Bronx’s Van Cordlant Park sites a golf course and green roof atop a drinking water filtration facility.
(via The Dirt)
A new, 16,000 square foot skate park is now under construction near the 1964 World’s Fair site in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. In a subtle nod to the mash-up of architectural styles typical of many historic World’s Fairs, the course will feature elements inspired by popular street skating spots around New York City:
- Original Brooklyn Banks 9-stair replica rail
- Union Square rail/steps
- Police Plaza 7-stair rail/various stairs
- Ziegfeld ledge
- Chrystie Park ledge
- Exchange Place street gap
- JFK Banks
- Con Ed Banks
- Pyramid ledges
- Flushing Meadows Park ledge-over-the-grate replica
- Various rails in public parks and the aesthetics of many of the spots in Brooklyn
The course is being built in advance of the Maloof Money Cup, a skate competition that will be held June 5th and 6th; the competiion donated the course through the Parks Department’s Adopt-a-Park program.
Update: Urban Omnibus offers a reflection on choice skating spots in New York City.