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Thread: East River Waterfront

  1. #1
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Oct 2002

    Default East River Waterfront

    Pier work begins on East River waterfront

    Rendering of the new design for Pier 35 near Clinton St.

    A new waterfront park that is meant to do for the East Side what Hudson River Park did for the West Side broke ground at a ceremony Tuesday morning.

    With swiveling cranes in the background, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the timing could not be better to start construction of the East River Waterfront, a project he promised to build four years ago. The $150 million park, funded mostly by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., will create about 400 construction jobs during the recession, Bloomberg said.

    Bloomberg stood alongside the governor, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Borough President Scott Stringer and State Sen. Daniel Squadron to describe the first phase of the project, which will stretch 2 miles from the Battery Maritime Building up to Pier 35, connecting the West Side greenway to East River Park. That work is slated to finish in 2011.

    The award-winning design by SHoP Architects includes retail and community-use pavilions under the elevated F.D.R. Dr.; amphitheater steps descending toward the water; wider paths for cyclists and pedestrians; and bar-stool seating along a rebuilt esplanade.

    The East River Waterfront will be “as innovative and exciting as the High Line,” City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden said.

    A second phase, which does not yet have funding or a timeline, would convert Pier 42 to public use with an urban beach and would create a plaza in front of the Battery Maritime Building.

    At the groundbreaking, the mayor highlighted plans for a new double-decker Pier 15, whose concrete piles are already rising from the East River. The pier will include a marine education center, concessions and space to dock boats on the lower level, and an open lawn and plantings on the upper level.

    The city also unveiled new plans for Pier 35, at Rutgers Slip, which will become an “eco pier” featuring flora and fauna native to the East River shoreline.

    The mayor first mentioned the possibility of improving the East River waterfront in 2002. Part of the reason the East River Waterfront project it took so long to get off the ground was because of the many permits required, Deputy Mayor Robert Lieber said. The project also underwent an extensive public review, with more than 70 community meetings.

    Borough President Stringer thanked Bloomberg for consulting Community Boards 1 and 3 so extensively.

    “You’ve done something I didn’t think was possible,” Stringer said to the mayor. “I think you’ve tired them out.”

  2. #2


    Two weeks ago.

    Began drilling caissons along the bulkhead at the Battery Maritime Building. Area from Pier 13 to the Seaport is fenced off. Piles for the new pier.


  3. #3

    Exclamation East River Waterfront

    Its time to start a discussion about this project that will improve the neighbourhood downtown (FIDI)...

    The City of New York has proposed an ambitious plan for improving the East River Waterfront, a two-mile-long, City-owned public open space extending from the Battery Maritime Building in the south to Montgomery Street in the north.

    Borough: Manhattan
    Piers 15 and 35 designed for public use
    Continuous waterfront bikeway/walkway connecting to the Manhattan Greenway
    New public open spaces
    New lighting, landscaping, and seating

    The East River Waterfront Esplanade and Piers Project (ERW) seeks to improve access to the waterfront, enhance pedestrian connectivity and create waterfront amenities for public use and enjoyment. The existing esplanade will be enhanced, new sections of esplanade will be created and several piers will be renovated and redeveloped.

    As part of the continued revitalization of Lower Manhattan, the ERW Project is a bold and ambitious plan for a stretch of the New York City waterfront that currently suffers from weak connections, a lack of amenities, and underutilization. The project will contribute greatly to improved quality of life for local residents, workers and visitors alike.

    The ERW project has received critical acclaim and recognition in national and international award ceremonies. In 2006, the project received the Excellence on the Waterfront Award from the Waterfront Center, which recognizes high quality waterfront plans and projects from all over the world. In 2008, SHoP Architects received the 55th Annual P/A Award for the project.


    In 2004 as a result of the Mayor’s Vision for a 21st Century Lower Manhattan, NYCEDC, the Department of City Planning, Department of Transportation, and Department of Parks and Recreation, with funding from LMDC, undertook a year-long study of the East River Waterfront in Lower Manhattan. The design team included architects, urban designers, landscape architects and engineers. All worked closely with the local community, area elected officials, City and State agencies, and civic associations to develop a waterfront concept plan.

    The planning was a participatory and interactive process comprising over 70 separate meetings with community boards, tenant associations, civic leaders, maritime experts and local elected officials.


    In response to input from the various groups, the East River Esplanade plan features:

    A comprehensive vision for a continuous waterfront esplanade;
    Improved connections to adjacent neighborhoods;
    New waterfront amenities; and
    New community, cultural, and recreational uses.
    The plan includes bold new architectural and landscape architectural design ideas flexible enough to adjust to local conditions and respond to the diverse neighborhoods and communities adjacent to the East River.

    The project will showcase NYCEDC’s continued emphasis on and innovation in sustainability through a variety of initiatives regarding open space, air and water quality, energy, climate change, and congestion. For example, lighting will be upgraded to low energy, long life cycle fixtures; recycled materials will be used for the project wherever feasible; regional, low maintenance plants will be used for landscaping; and rainwater harvesting will reduce the stormwater runoff into the existing system.


    NYCEDC is currently implementing the East River Waterfront Esplanade project, working with partner City agencies in connection with the project design and construction. Uniform Land Use Review Procedure and environmental review were completed in Fall 2007. Design is currently underway, led by SHoP Architects, PC, and Ken Smith Landscape Architects, along with a joint venture of HDR and Arup engineers. Schematic Designs were completed in Fall 2007 and Design Development and Construction Documents are almost complete. The project will be built in two phases:

    Phase I
    Construction will include improvements to the existing esplanade to enforce continuity along the edge and connect a major broken link in the proposed Manhattan Greenway. It will include elements such as integrated lighting, paving, furniture and other programming. Additionally, small pavilions will be built under the FDR Drive for community and commercial uses. Pier 15 will be built as a two-level pier with educational programming and open space, and Pier 35, currently inaccessible to the public, will also be redeveloped into a destination pier with open space and an innovative habitat restoration project. A Class I Bikeway will be built along South Street, which will also be narrowed and reconstructed to improve traffic flow improvements.

    For reasons of design, schedule, and cost, and as a result of the large project size, the ERW project will be constructed in stages. Construction of the esplanade from Wall Street to Maiden Lane is the first construction package, which began in Spring 2009. This portion of the project will showcase the Esplanade design including the seating, planting, paving, railing, and lighting that are proposed for the entire Esplanade. In these two blocks, there will also be unique amenities including steps that lead to the water’s edge at Wall Street. Future construction stages will begin throughout the rest of 2009 and into 2010, including Pier 15 and Pier 35.

    Phase II
    This phase will include completion of the esplanade, an urban beach at Pier 42, and a new Battery Maritime Building Plaza. Phase II is not yet funded.

  4. #4

    Default LMDC Update

    *The following information was last updated November 16, 2009

    The first phase of construction is taking place on the waterfront between Wall Street and Maiden Lane
    Pier 13/14 pile driving is complete; pile caps and decking installation continues through October 30, 2009
    Pier 15 infrastructure under construction July 2009 through August 2010; construction access from water side. Pile driving through mid-Nov. 2009.
    FDR girder painting (east side only) begins Feb. 2010.
    Contractor Turner Construction is performing marine infrastructure work; Contractor Trocom Construction is reconstructing the esplanade
    Motorcycle parking was removed in May. The lot operator under the Brooklyn Bridge (near South Street and Peck Slip) will accept motorcycles at a rate of $125/month. The contact for that lot is Amine Babaali at 212-732-2670.
    A reduced, shared bikeway/walkway is in effect at the work site

  5. #5
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Yesterday I took a walk along the new esplanade (north of Houston Street). It's really terrific, with a great urban (rather than suburban) feel. Work is moving ahead all around and beneath the Williamsburg Bridge and points south. This is going to be a great amenity for the LES / EV / Downtown when it finishes up.

  6. #6
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    East waterfront work continuing with revisions

    Julie Shapiro

    Two thousand eleven will be a big year for the East River Waterfront, the city’s $150 million renovation of a gritty 2-mile walkway.

    That year, the city plans to open the first sections of the rebuilt esplanade and bikeway on the East Side of Lower Manhattan, stretching from the Battery Maritime Building up to Maiden Ln. As work on that section continues, the city this week showed new designs for the southernmost portion of the esplanade, south of Wall St., featuring maritime foliage, wooden furniture, bike racks and an undulating railing.

    Because the current walkway is only 8 feet wide in some of these southern sections, the city is currently driving piles to expand the path over the East River. Originally, the plans called for the walkway to separate from the shoreline and curve out over the water, to give views of the Lower Manhattan skyline, but the state Dept. of Environmental Conservation vetoed that idea, said Nicole Dooskin, project manager for the city Economic Development Corp.

    As a result, the new esplanade will stay adjacent to land and will be just wide enough to fit a 12-foot walkway, a buffer and a 10-foot bikeway. In some sections south of Wall St. there will also be room for wooden furniture and plantings of juniper and ornamental grasses. In other sections, there will only be room for a decorative aluminum screen.

    That screen drew objections at Community Board 1’s Waterfront Committee Monday night, although the board members liked the rest of the design E.D.C. and SHoP Architects presented. Several board members were worried that the fence, which will be 6 feet, 7 inches high, could make the esplanade dangerous.

    “If I was a mugger, I would look to mug somebody over there,” said Bob Townley, chairperson of the Waterfront Committee.

    The fence is designed to be both functional and artistic. In one section, it would separate the esplanade from the bike path, and in another it would shield the esplanade and half of the bike path from a parking lot for F.D.N.Y. vehicles. Hexagon-shaped holes in the fence would create a “cinematic” effect as people walked past and would foster a feeling of openness despite the physical barrier, said Ken Smith, a landscape architect who designed the fence. (The city did not release images of the design, which officials presented at the community board meeting.)

    Townley and other board members agreed that the screen looked beautiful, but they said beauty should not trump safety, and they were concerned that the fence would isolate people along the waterfront. The committee passed a resolution asking the city to reduce the height of the fence or eliminate it altogether.

    Smith said he thought about a lower fence but it would not achieve the same visual effect as a higher one. He invited board members to see a full-height mockup of the screen in his office before the full board votes in January. The community board’s opinion is advisory.

    Townley said he would try to keep an open mind about the screen.
    “Ken’s a Tribeca architect,” Townley said. “We don’t want to eat our own.”

  7. #7
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Oct 2002


    City Shows Designs for South Stretch of East River Esplanade

    By Matt Dunning

    The city rolled out its latest set of designs this week for the massive, $150 million redevelopment of the East River Waterfront, outlining plans for a 1,165-foot section from the Battery Maritime Building, at the tip of Manhattan, to near Wall Street.

    Communty Board 1 members, shown the preliminary plans on Dec. 21, mostly liked what they saw. While the southern section is devoid of marquis attractions planned farther north—such as a pavilion and rooftop green space at Pier 15, or the “habitat restoration” park at Pier 35—it will include the same hexagonal pavers, sleek-looking benches and lacquered wood-and-steel railings used throughout the proposed two-mile, 14-million-square-foot park.

    Just one element of the plan, presented by the city's Economic Development Corp., drew objections from the board: A series of shimmering metal walls used to separate cyclists and pedestrians had the committee criticizing its design and worried about safety.

    A rendering of the EDC's proposed esplanade along the east river, between the Battery Maritime Building and Pier 6.


    In the southernmost portion of what the EDC is calling “Package 2” of its redevelopment designs, a 6-foot-high, perforated aluminum wall would separate the bike path from the pedestrian walkway. Ken Smith, a landscape architect for the project, said the 150-foot-long wall is intended as a barrier between the bike path and the walkway—a city requirement. And it gives pedestrians walking along the water a sense of separation from the rest of the city, without completely cutting cyclists off from views of the river.

    “Part of the experience of the esplanade is to be a little closer to the water, and to get a little respite from the city,” Smith said.

    But some CB1 members objected to the height of the wall, and asked that it be lowered to under four feet or eliminated entirely. Pedestrians might feel trapped as they walked between the wall and the rail at the water’s edge, they said, lessening the experience of being by the water. There was also a complaint that the wall would block the vista for cyclists.

    “Sometimes It's nice to look to [Brooklyn] across the river," committee member Michael Ketring said. "I would do without the ‘experience’ and have more of a view.”

    The EDC and SHoP Architects have proposed fencing off the parking lot underneath the FDR highway with a perforated aluminum wall.


    North of the Battery Maritime Building, near Pier 6, cyclists and pedestrians would be separated by juniper trees and coastal grass. Just below Pier 11, the north-south bike lanes would split to accommodate the current Fire Department parking lot beneath the FDR Drive. Along South Street, the city removed the bus-parking lane that once occupied the east side of the street earlier this year in order to expand the bike lane.

    The EDC envisions hiding the parking lot with an aluminum wall similar to one planned for the southern portion of the esplanade. Committee chairman Bob Townley said the wall was a “beautiful element,” but would make the light-starved spaces beneath the FDR Drive even darker and less inviting.

    “I’m not concerned when there’s a hundred people on the esplanade, I’m concerned when there’s just one person walking there,” Townley said. “With the West Side waterfront, we wanted as much visibility [between the walkway and bike path] to prevent things like attacks and muggings. That’s an issue for me here, too. If I was a mugger, I would look to mug someone there.”

    EDC representatives said little would change on the plaza north of Pier 11, which they called a "waiting area" for the ferryboats on the pier.


    Cathy Jones, of SHoP architects, said little would change just north of Pier 11, where the EDC will need to maintain an open corridor for the thousands of ferry riders. The new pavers, benches and railings would be installed around the pier to maintain uniformity with the rest of the park, but the general layout of the pier and the adjacent plaza would remain largely as it is today.

    “It’s such a heavily trafficked area, we can’t really do too much there,” Jones said. “It’s kind of a waiting area for [the ferryboats at] Pier 11. There is some room to put in some tables and other furniture. Some amenities for the people sitting around and waiting would be nice.”

    The plan is to go before the city’s Public Design Commission on Jan. 11.

  8. #8

    Default Pictures from today - MLK day

    New piers and repainting work south of John St down as far as Wall St.

  9. #9


    North from Battery Maritime Building.

    Narrow walkway tripled in width. Not cantilevered; free-standing structure with piling support.

  10. #10
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Wow ^ That will be nice, the walkway there has always been so cramped and unwelcoming.

  11. #11
    Banned Member
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    Dec 2002
    Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY


    I think this becomes even more of a necessity as the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island ferries move to the Maritime Terminal. It isn't presently an attractive area and it is not pedestrian friendly.

  12. #12

    Default Work on Sample Sections complete

    From this morning. They are now repainting the entire length of the underside of the FDR flyover. The sample section is completed. Also new cobbles sample.

  13. #13


    The perforated aluminum fence is a bad idea.

  14. #14


    While I love the idea of these parks and I'm glad this is all progressing I have to voice my critical opinion of these projects from the safety perspective.

    Before the remaining portions of the waterfront are designed and built we all need to take a really long hard look at the lately ignored aspects of park space in these secluded, behind-the-highway areas. I am not sure exactly what the policy is on park closings at night and who precisely enforces these curfews or monitors these spaces but as someone who routinely takes walks along the 23rd st to Houston bikelane/park at night I am very very worried about what I'm seeing.

    While it may be true that it is the responsibility of the individual to reduce his own risks the area I mentioned is notorious for late night drug use and far more significantly has dense tree cover from the highway and borders building complexes that foster no particular passerby interest in what happens along the waterfront. Despite the fact that I always take a stroll there with a group of people we have been very threateningly harassed by drug users there on two occasions. Often you will find people there so completely out of their minds that no city should ever be permissive of them being left to their own devices. During all this time I am yet to see a police officer there at that hour and I fear that one of these days the beautifully planned natural spaces and the comforting private bench spaces will be used to hurt someone who misjudged where they found themselves.

    I have never been a particular advocate of curfews but this area carries a demonstrably greater risk than taking a late night stroll through Central Park despite the seemingly greater ease of access for a police intervention.

    I don't know if the solution is to ticket people like myself who enjoy the waterfront after a long day, or to turn a park into a police patrol area, or maybe to eliminate the beautiful designs for parks we need. I simply feel that I see a lot of risk there that is present - not just potential.

  15. #15


    Central Park is a good comparison.

    Crime in the park is almost nonexistent. No homicides, and total crime cases reported was 67 for all of 2009. Typical for a police precinct is over 2000 cases reported.

    Wasn't always the case. It was once a dangerous place, partly because people avoided it. Technically, the park closes at 1AM. It's a disclaimer; the city is saying that it can't be responsible for public safety 24/7, and late at night the environment is more dangerous.

    Don't know what the present crime situation is along the East River waterfront, but making it more popular doesn't necessarily mean you're bringing people into a dangerous situation. More people makes a place safer.

    The subways are considered safe, but at 2AM it's a good idea to sit in the conductor's car.

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