We distinctly remember jumping out of our seats with excitement when the City of New York’s $220 million plan to overhaul Governors Island and turn it into a green oasis was unveiled. Now with the same excitement, we bring you the news that ground will break on the first phase of construction in 2012 with the first new sections opening in 2013. The Trust for Governors Island has revealed that the first segments to be completed will be the 14-acre play lawn, the 10-acre Hammock Grove, a redesigned Liggett Terrace, a new Soissons Landing ferry dock, and the revamped 12-acre Parade Ground.
The expansive new Governors Island park design was created for the City of New York by Dutch firm West 8 in partnership with Rogers Marvel Architects, Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, SMWM, and Urban Design+. Together the talented team of designers created a totally new vision of the urban park that keeps the environment’s health close to its heart. The renovations are meant to bring the island — which once held the status of the longest continually operating military base in the United States — to life as a green destination for concrete wary New York residents and tourists alike.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is also hoping that these new renovations will spark interest from private developers to build on the island. Bloomberg recently told reporters he, “would love to find a university to move there.” Governors Island was used as a possible site in a recent design competition to bring a school of applied science to New York, but the front runners in that competition, Cornell and Stanford chose Roosevelt Island instead — the city hasn’t chosen a winner yet.
Though decisions on the private development of open space on Governors Island won’t be happening any time soon, the improvements to the site will open to the public in just over a year. Despite construction, the island will still be open to visitors starting again in May on Saturdays, Sundays, and holiday Mondays through mid-autumn. Construction will cause the island to be closed on Fridays until the project has finished.
Via DNA Info