Gallery: Queens Plaza to Be Transformed into a Vibrant Green Oasis in L...

First impressions are important, and unfortunately for Queens, the one it makes upon visitors entering the borough via the 59th St. Bridge is, well, pretty ugly. The tangled mass of overhead subway lines, rusted metal beams and collection of topless bars have long characterized Queens Plaza, but not for long. WRT Design is working on recreating the site to be a refreshing oasis amidst the asphalt and concrete. When completed, the plaza will have two new urban parks, wind and solar power collection and other environmental systems. No word yet on whether the topless bars will stick around or not - nevertheless, we can't wait to see the changes come to fruition!

The initiative is part of the Queens Plaza Bicycle and Pedestrian Landscape Improvement Project to make the site into a gateway into Long Island City that residents can be proud of. A long-time industrial zone, the neighborhood has just recently started to transition into a destination and coveted residential area. The Queens Plaza redevelopment will help flow the area right next to the bridge toward the high rises and shops that lie closer to the East River.

“Integrating water, wind, solar, and other environmental systems within the layered structures of bridges, roadways, elevated trains, and subways, the project will humanize the infrastructure at Queens Plaza,” writes WRT of the project. “New structures will be designed to latch on to, cut through, build under, grow over, and link vertically, in order to make use of interstitial spaces and underused sites. Slivers of green, patchwork gardens, and strips of water retention, all dappled through restructured patterns of movement, will grow on-site, providing layers of vegetation to clean air and stormwater as well as mitigate noise pollution.”



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  1. Charles Neslon April 18, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    I really like it when people take the urban environment and give it more of a green landscape like this. There is something magical about the great outdoors, and people in urban environments don’t often get to see that enough. That is why landscape construction is such a good idea.

  2. mpstudionyc June 28, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Marpillero Pollak Architects, Architect and Urban Designer for Queens Plaza Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements project, collaborated with WRT/Margie Ruddick Landscape on all aspects of design shown in this article (with exception of salvaged concrete areas beneath elevated), and created and/or co-created the images posted here. We are excited about the project, phase 1 of which opened to public on April 5th of this year.

  3. dml7704 April 15, 2011 at 9:31 am

    I can’t wait to see the transformation, hopefully the bridge will also be repainted MEG

  4. stevenboxall March 11, 2011 at 5:48 am

    Looks good and the sort of things which many cities need to think about, but I would be interested to learn: 1/. Is this a real project which is going to get delivered or is it a desk-top study and 2/. if a real project, how is it being funded?