We may not see some aspects of Mayor Bloomberg’s waterfront makeover for a few years, but many of the in-progress projects will be completed within the year — including the first section of the highly-anticipated East River Waterfront. According to the city Economic Development Corporation, the two-block long park will officially open this May. It was originally supposed to open last December, but it was delayed due to continuing construction.
Situated between Maiden Lane and Wall Street, the new esplanade is the first part of the $150 million East River Waterfront redevelopment which will run from the Battery Maritime Building to Pier 35, just north of the Manhattan Bridge. Designed by SHoP Architects, the 2-mile stretch will be transformed into a landscaped walking and biking path, one of the many greenways included in Vision 2020.
The highlight of the first section is a “lookout,” a series of stone steps that leads down to the water. During high tide, the bottom step will flood, giving visitors the opportunity to touch the water. Dipping a toe in the East River may be the last thing that many people want to do, but don’t worry — Vision 2020 calls for cleaning the water, so hopefully worries over pollutants will soon be a thing of the past.
The new park also includes a 4,300 square foot dog run and dozens of benches and tables. Native trees and vegetation were used in the landscaping. There were plans to build a restaurant just north of the dog run this summer, but there’s no word yet on whether or not the delay in the park’s opening changed that.
Images © SHoP Architects