Gallery: NYC’s $220 Million Governors Island Park Unveiled!


This week New York City officially unveiled it’s finalized plan for a $220 million renovation of Governors Island! Starting in 2012, construction will begin on what could become one of the coolest urban parks in the world. The finalized design is by Dutch firm West 8 in partnership with Rogers Marvel Architects, Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, SMWM and Urban Design+ and comes complete with flowering terraces, boardwalks, marshland, a hammock grove, mountainscapes and newly-found stunning views of the Manhattan skyline.

The city bought Governor’s Island from the US government for $1.00 in 2003, and up until 1997 the island was home to the oldest US military base. The finalized design is a wild reinterpretation of the space, which is currently covered in military buildings. When you first arrive you are greeted by beautiful old structures, and toward the far end of the island there stands a stark concrete village of army barracks. The older buildings are preserved in this new design and their features are integrated into the flow of the green space. Liggett Hall’s gorgeous archway (pictured above) will make way to Liggett Terrace, a place for gathering.

The less inviting concrete barracks will be leveled to make way for green space. These areas will house the more extravagant features of the new park. A group of mountains and cliffs will be built that will provide stunning views of the Manhattan skyline, a man-made marshland at the southern tip of the island will welcome native wildlife, and a densely-wooded grove of trees will be outfitted with a group of hammocks for dozing in.

As we learned recently with the opening of the Highline Park — also designed partially by Diller, Scofidio and Renfro — the wildest ideas sometimes make for the most beloved parks. Skeptics of the design for Governors Island worry about the cost of the project. Although the price tag is high, this innovative design is sure to draw a crowd of curious tourists and New York residents. Governors Island is set to become a wonderland of nature just a ferry ride away from the Big Apple.

+ Governors Island

Via The NY Times


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  3. Publius April 16, 2010 at 11:31 am

    The article clearly states that the historic buildings, which are on the north end of the island, are and will be preserved. The two forts, which the article does not mention, are now a national monument and managed by the National Park Service – which the article also does not mention – and cannot be “torn down” or anything else by the state and/or city. The rest of the historic buildings in the north end are listed in the National Register of Historic Places, though they belong to the state. However, the transfer from the federal government to the state required that they be protected, so this is again not an issue. It’s just the modern high-rise and warehouse stuff on the south end that will go and, apparently, be replaced with a park.

  4. JMY April 15, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    I used to live on Governor’s Island and I think this is awful! The island is jam-packed with wonderful history and that should be embraced vs. torn down. I was so hoping they would turn it into a historical site and allow the world to know what has all taken place there. What a bummer!

  5. aboychuk April 14, 2010 at 8:39 am

    How will they protect Island from predictable sea level rise by 2080 – 2100?
    Does somebody know?

  6. mcrvampire55 April 13, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    This sounds awesome! A great project. It makes me believe a little more in human kind. Any information as to being able to possibly donate to the construction?

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