Early designs for Central Park. Image courtesy of the National Park Service, Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site.
When thinking of influential creators of New York City’s most memorable places, it’s hard not to imagine Frederick Law Olmsted near the top of the list. Considered to be the founder of landscape architecture–he was also a writer and conservationist–Olmsted was committed to the restorative effects of natural spaces in the city. Perhaps best known for the wild beauty of Central and Prospect Parks, his vast influence includes scores of projects such as the Biltmore estate, the U.S. Capitol grounds and the Chicago World’s Fair. In preparation for the bicentennial of Olmsted’s 1822 birth, the Library of Congress has made 24,000 documents providing details of Olmsted’s life available online, Smithsonian reports. The collection includes journals, personal correspondence, project proposals and other documents that offer an intimate picture of Olmsted’s private life and work. The collection is linked to an interactive map at Olmsted Online showing all Olmsted projects in the United States (and there are many). You can search the map according to project name, location, job number and project type.
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Via Central Park Conservancy
Central Park’s Lasker pool and ice rink is set to undergo a major makeover, funded collectively by the Central Park Conservancy and the city. As first reported by the Daily News, the pool and rink will close for construction in 2020 for three years. The refurbishment will better connect the North Woods and the Harlem Meer, both currently blocked from one another by the rink.
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Photo by Nicholas Sella
With the opening of five lush waterfront acres of park at Pier 3 on Tuesday, Brooklyn Bridge Park is now 90 percent complete. Designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, it’s the final pier to be converted into parkland and features two lawns surrounded by shrubs and trees, which will offer both shade and protection from gusts of wind. “Brooklyn Bridge Park is a gem that gleams brighter with each exciting acre it adds, building on our borough’s commitment to offer high-quality open space that brings people together from all walks of life,” Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said.
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Photo © 6sqft
The Hunter’s Point South Park extension officially opened Wednesday, over three years after construction began at the Long Island City site. The second phase adds 5.5 acres south to the existing park, which currently has a basketball court, playground, two dog-runs, and a volleyball sand pit. The city’s Economic Development Corporation and Department of Parks and Recreation developed the project, which measures 11-acres from 50th Avenue to Newton Creek on the East River.
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, local officials and community members gathered to celebrate the project’s opening. “This is a beautiful park,” State Sen. Michael Gianaris said. “Enough to make our friends across in Manhattan look over and be jealous that they don’t have anything as beautiful on their side of the River.”
Photo by Tia Richards for 6sqft
New York’s first public monument to the LGBTQ community opened Sunday in the Greenwich Village, a historically significant neighborhood for the gay rights movement. Located in Hudson River Park and designed by local artist Anthony Goicolea, the monument honors the victims of the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting, as well as all victims of hate and violence.
“This memorial saddens us, when we think about the Orlando 49 senseless deaths, but it also enlightens us, and it also inspires us,” Cuomo said on Sunday. “It inspires New Yorkers to do what New Yorkers have always done – what Anthony was referring to: to push forward, to keep going forward on that journey until we reach the destination that the Statue of Liberty promised in the first place.”
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Rendering by Anthony Goicolea via Gov. Cuomo’s office
A monument to the LGBTQ community is taking shape in Hudson River Park along the Greenwich Village waterfront. Last year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo chose Brooklyn-based artist Anthony Goicolea to design the monument, aimed at honoring both the LGBT rights movement and the victims of the 2016 Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting. Although the Hudson River Park Trust told 6sqft an opening date of the installation isn’t known yet, Urban Omnibus reported the monument is expected to be completed this month, coinciding with Pride Month.
Image via BIG
In 2014 6sqft reported on the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rebuild By Design contest to develop ways to shore up the city from future flooding. Among the short list of winners whose projects will receive funding was “The Big U” from Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), a flooding solution for Manhattan that doubles as a social environment, with over a third of the $920 million in prize money to go toward its development. Now BIG is making a bigger splash with a similar vision now on display at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, the Observer reports. Called “Humanhattan 2050,” the project, created for the Biennale, which the firm calls “an academic exploration in urban environments and resiliency” could someday represent the first effort to keep cities safe while creating a new, improved social space along the waterfront.
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Photo credit: Daniel Levin
Two Trees Management announced today that Domino Park, the long-awaited new waterfront recreational public space at the 11-acre Domino Sugar Factory site, will celebrate its grand opening this Sunday, June 10. In April, 6sqft revealed renderings of the new park and esplanade that will anchor the three-million-square-foot Williamsburg mega-development at the Domino Sugar Factory site, designed by James Corner Field Operations (of the High Line fame). The quarter-mile long public park, located just north of the Williamsburg Bridge, celebrates the history of one of the city’s most iconic industrial waterfront sites with adaptively reused syrup tanks, warehouse columns, and original cranes (now painted the park’s signature turquoise color “untealed”). There will also be a taco kiosk from Danny Meyer, a water feature, bocce courts, and a children’s playground designed by Mark Reigelman as a reinterpretation of the original factory.
Check out industrial artifacts, water features and more
Photos courtesy of William Christ
Opened in 1863, and long known as the final resting place of some of history’s most notable figures— Irving Berlin, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Robert Moses, F.W. Woolworth, and Herman Melville, to name a few–the Bronx’s Woodlawn Cemetery and Conservatory is also home to many treasures of the living variety. When one of Woodlawn’s trees (of which there are a whopping 140 different species!) meets its ultimate fate, the cemetery doesn’t merely bury it but rather celebrates its life by carving it into an animal that can be found on the grounds.
Find out the meaning behind this tradition
The Salt Lot is a triangular piece of land just south of the point at which all three branches of the Gowanus Canal meet. The city-owned site hosts a NYC Compost Project facility, as well as the Gowanus Canal Conservancy’s nursery and educational facilities. However, the EPA has mandated a new four-million-gallon retention tank be placed there to manage combined sewer overflow. Gowanus by Design (GbD) saw this new infrastructure requirement as a catalyst for sparking conversation about much needed public urban space in the area. They’ve therefore created a conceptual proposal for the Gowanus Salt Lot Public Park, which includes three buildings constructed with materials that reference the Canal’s industrial history, along with sloping hills and wetlands.
More details and renderings ahead