The north end of Central Park around the Harlem Meer is one of its most beautiful vistas, but because of the large, obtrusive Lasker Rink and Pool, it is currently disconnected from the North Woods below it, as well as the rest of the park. To better connect the area, the Central Park Conservancy and the City of New York today revealed a $150 million project to build a new pool and rink that will bring year-round recreation, as well as integrate into the surrounding landscape and restore lost pedestrian connections.
Rendering of ‘K-flex 2’ courtesy of Public Work
Plans to build a new seven-acre public park under the Kosciuszko Bridge in Greenpoint are moving forward. Last month, the North Brooklyn Parks Alliance unveiled designs for “Under the K,” a linear public space that will feature four distinct spaces and stretch to Newtown Creek. Designed by Toronto-based architecture firm Public Work, the new park will feature access to the waterfront, public art installations, performances, and areas for recreation on land currently vacant.
Illustrative rendering of the developed northwest corner of the site courtesy of PANYNJ.
As part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s planned $13 billion transformation of JFK into a modern international airport, it was announced Tuesday that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is issuing a Request for Information for the design and development of JFK Central, a 14-acre mixed-use space at the airport’s core at the Ground Transportation Center. The site offers designers and developers a blank canvas for creating a unique centrally located public space for travelers, employees and the community, offering commercial and recreational services.
The restored Belvedere at night, courtesy of the Central Park Conservancy
As 6sqft reported, Central Park’s Belvedere Castle is open to the public today after a comprehensive $12 million restoration effort. In addition to a restored facade, new clear-pane-glass windows, new mechanical and utility systems and a the re-creation of the wooden tower that was part of Olmsted and Vaux’s original design, the Central Park Conservancy has introduced nighttime lighting. As night falls, the Belvedere will be illuminated and visible from various locations in the park–most strikingly from across Turtle Pond.
The restored Belvedere, courtesy of the Central Park Conservancy
After a 15-month, $12 million restoration and repair project, the Belvedere will reopen to the public on Friday, June 28th. In anticipation, the Central Park Conservancy today opened the historic structure to press, revealing its restored facade, expansive views through new clear-pane-glass windows, new mechanical and utility systems, and a recreation of a wooden tower that was part of Olmsted and Vaux’s original plan 150 years ago. Though many New Yorkers refer to the site as Belvedere Castle, “Belvedere” actually means “beautiful view” in Italian and refers to the vistas from the second-highest point in Central Park. Belvedere receives approximately one million visitors each year, and starting this month, they will also be able to see the Castle illuminated at night, as the landmark will be lit for the first time ever.
Images by QuallsBenson
A 15,000-square-foot park—the latest component of Essex Crossing to open to the public—is now complete on the Lower East Side, right in time for summer. Designed by landscape architecture firm West 8 (best known for designing the Hills at Governors Island), the park is a welcome addition to the neighborhood, where the ambitious Essex Crossing project is still in full swing, with seven of its nine sites now open or under construction.
Photo by Timothy Schenck, courtesy of the High Line.
The High Line’s newest section, the Spur, opened to the public last week following a ribbon-cutting celebration on Tuesday. Elected officials, artists, advocates, supporters, community members, and architects involved in the project were on hand for a speaking program that welcomed visitors to the new space. The Spur–the last section of the original elevated rail to be converted into public space–extends east along West 30th Street and ends above 10th Avenue; it’s also home to the High Line Plinth, the first site on the High Line dedicated to a rotating series of contemporary art commissions. Simone Leigh’s “Brick House” is the first Plinth commission.
Rendering Credit: FXCollaborative and Quennell Rothschild & Partners.
On May 28, work is scheduled to begin on Haven Plaza, a pedestrian plaza that will transform Haven Avenue between 169th Street and Fort Washington Avenue into an actual haven for faculty, staff, patients, students and the public at large. Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC), in partnership with the New York City Department of Transportation, is creating 60,000 square feet of open green space complete with planters, benches, café tables, and chairs.
All of the images in this post are included in “The Central Park: Original Designs for New York’s Greatest Treasure,” and are courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives.
There are few things as beautiful as a sunset in Central Park, standing beside the reservoir at 90th Street, looking west, and watching the sun sink behind the San Remo then glitter through the trees on the park’s horizon, and finally melt into the water, its colors unspooling there like ink. That view, one of so many available in the park, can be credited to the meticulous planning by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, whose extraordinary vision made Central Park one of the finest urban oases on earth.
“The Central Park: Original Designs for New York’s Greatest Treasure,” a new book by Cynthia S. Brenwall, out now from the NYC Department of Records, offers a closer look at that lanning process than ever before. Using more than 250 color photos, maps, plans, elevations, and designs — many published here for the very first time — the book chronicles the park’s creation, from conception to completion, and reveals the striking “completeness” of Olmsted and Vaux’s vision. “There was literally no detail too small to be considered,” Brenwall says. You’ll see the earliest sketches of familiar structures, and check out plans for unbuilt amenities (including a Paleozoic Museum!) 6sqft caught up with Brenwall to find out how the book came together, hear what it was like to cull through those incredible documents and snag a few secrets of Central Park.
After years of anticipation, Pier 35 on the East River waterfront is officially open (h/t Curbed). The project, designed by SHoP with Ken Smith Workshop, consists of a new eco-park and an “urban beach” anchoring the northern flank of the East River waterfront esplanade and providing much-needed public space on the waterfront. The park also functions as a habitat restoration feature: “Mussel Beach” was created to replicate the characteristics of the original East River shoreline.