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Governors Island Park Becomes A Reality

37095 Views 32 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  nick.english.dept
After years of planning, design competitions and public hearings, ground has finally been broken on NYC's newest urban gem!

Groundbreaking Held For $260 Million Governors Island Phase I Renovation

NY Times

Mayor Michael Bloomberg led the groundbreaking ceremony for the first $260 million worth of developments on Governors Island today, the New York Times reported. The initial renovation phase of the increasingly trafficked island – visitors jumped to a half-million last year from 8,000 in 2005 – will add formal gardens, lawns, play areas, woodlands. But the bulk of the budget will be spent on much-needed infrastructure: repairing 2.2 miles of seawall, building a water-line to Brooklyn, demolishing 18 abandoned buildings and improving electrical and telecommunication facilities.

“Governors Island is the centerpiece of our efforts to revitalize New York City’s waterfront,” Bloomberg said. “In 2010, we promised that our administration would make Governors Island a destination that New Yorkers and visitors would be able to enjoy for generations. Today’s park groundbreaking takes us one step closer that goal.”

The island opens for the season this Saturday and is still offering free ferry rides. The state plans to eventual phase-in commercial developments, hotels and even college dormitories, however, there will be no stand-alone housing. The island currently features 33 acres of developable space for commercial use and 1.4 million square feet of buildings. The public parkland phase is scheduled for completion in fall of 2013.
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^^true, lol
But it just gave me an idea... how come nobody ever thought of creating the Formula 1 track there! It would have been the most incredible location!

That being said, the park renderings are really good, promising a unique new greenspace... although I find it weird that after reclaiming terrain by landfills... they would have decided to give up land by excavating and creating those lagoons for the wildlife.

Other than the bad photoshop, I somehow doubt we would have people going in the water, and second... do we even have swans in the city?

and I'm answering my question: Mute Swans in NYS, apparently they figure over 3000, mostly in Long Island.
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There are some swans in Central Park if i'm not mistake and up in Pelham Bay.
Now time to address the southern end:

Governors Island Seeks 'Visionary' Developer for Southern Half of Island

DOWNTOWN — The Trust for Governors Island is looking for “visionary” developers to design the southern half of the island, they announced this week.

The Trust issued a request for expressions of interest (RFEI) for the “creative” and “transformational” private development of 33 acres on the southern half of the island that’s currently off limits to the public.

The trust is seeking to “generate the broadest possible spectrum of ideas” for the redesign of the land where vacant industrial buildings and old housing now sit, they said in a statement. Nonprofit, cultural, educational and commercial developers are all encouraged to apply.

The request is the latest step in a massive plan for overhauling the former Coast Guard base. The city plans to invest more than $260 million by 2014 to revamp the island’s infrastructure and build 30 new acres of public space that includes ballfields, a grove of trees and a playful green space with maze-like hedges.

According to the Trust, the 33 acres are bordered by new park space on one side and the future Great Promenade that will encircle the island, on the other.

This is the second call for private development on island. In December, the Trust issued an RFP for the redevelopment of existing buildings in the Governors Island Historic District. The RFEI and RFP, both due on March 14, "represent the next chapter of the Island's ongoing redevelopment," the Trust said.

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A lot of those "abandoned buildings" are beautiful and could/should have been rehabbed as museum or even hotel space.
I see Governor Island also has those gantries installed. I'm happy to see NYC utilizing all these land and making most of the views of the skylines and other city landmarks like Statue of Liberty and its all free.
I thought implosion was illegal in NYC?

I don't like it. Looks too trendy. I hate those long grasses- try to make the place look like a marsh, or a "wetland". We need to return to Olmstead's principles.
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I don't like it. Looks too trendy. I hate those long grasses- try to make the place look like a marsh, or a "wetland". We need to return to Olmstead's principles.
I like Olmstead ideas, but I am not sure it will work or proper for this particular place.
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Work progressing through the Summer season:

IMG_7196 by neatnessdotcom, on Flickr

IMG_6957 by neatnessdotcom, on Flickr

IMG_7018 by neatnessdotcom, on Flickr

IMG_7054 by neatnessdotcom, on Flickr

IMG_6999 by neatnessdotcom, on Flickr

IMG_7023 by neatnessdotcom, on Flickr

IMG_7041 by neatnessdotcom, on Flickr

IMG_7000 by neatnessdotcom, on Flickr

IMG_7012 by neatnessdotcom, on Flickr
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