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Thread: Governors Island

  1. #61


    Toronto has similar land that is a ferry ride from its CBD, they made it into a sprawling utopia of parkland with a variety of different outdoor entertainment and educational functions. It always filled with people picnicking, walking, biking, swimming, and its absolutely beautiful.

  2. #62


    Saturdays Come Roam and Explore Governors Island

    June 11, 2005 - September 3, 2005
    10 AM to 5:30 PM

    Governors Island Preservation and Education Corp., 212.440.2202
    National Park Service, 212.825.3051

    Please join us as we celebrate the 2005 Summer Season on Governors Island.

    Once again, the Governors Island Preservation & Education Corporation and the National Park Service will open Governors Island to the public for Saturday visits to the Governors Island. This year, visitors will be able to visit the esplenade but also explore on their own a about a 40 acre portion of the National Historic Landmark District that includes Colonel's Row, the parade grounds and Fort Jay.

    The only ferry service to Governors Island departs from the Battery Maritime Building located at 10 South Street at the corner of Whitehall and South Streets and next door the Staten Island ferry terminal in lower Manhattan.

    On Saturdays, the ferry departs every hour on the hour beginning at 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. The ferry returns to Manhattan at 11:15 AM, then every hour on the hour from 12:30 PM to 5:30 PM.

    Governors Island Ferry Ticket Information

    Tickets for the Governors Island Ferry will be available through New York Water Taxi Ticket Booth locations: Pier 11(at Wall Street & South Street), at the South Street Seaport Pier 16 at Fulton and South Street and in Jersey City, NJ; as well as online at and by phone at 212.742.1969. Tickets may be purchased in advance or on the day of departure in person or by phone. There will also be same day sales at the Governors Island ferry slip on Saturdays ONLY, subject to availability.

    Tickets are: $6 for Adults and children 13 and older; $3 for children 3-12 and free for children 2 and younger.


    National Park Service Saturday Ranger Programs

    New for the 2005 summer season, the National Park Service has developed a self-guided tour of the Governors Island historic district open to the public. The self-guided tour fact sheet is available at the bookstore, Building 140, next to the ferry dock on Governors Island.

    Historic Fort Jay will be open to the public during the day with free 20 minute ranger guided tours offered throughout the day.

    National Park Service rangers will offer short tours of various portions of the Governors Island historic district each Saturday. Tours will be offered on an hourly basis at 20 minutes after the hour from 10:20 AM to 4:20 PM. Tours are free, limited to 40 people each and require a free tour pass available only at the bookstore, Building 140, next to the ferry dock on Governors Island.

  3. #63


    Text from National Park Service website, pictures are mine, taken yesterday.

    On December 7, 1988, Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev came to New York City to address the United Nations General Assembly. Following a recitation of the recent changes in the Soviet Union or "perestroika," Gorbachev amazed the global community when he announced drastic cuts in the Soviet military presence in Eastern Europe, ultimately allowing Soviet satellites to choose their own paths.

    Not quite a year later, in November 1989, as a result of perestroika in the Soviet Union and a diminishing presence in Eastern Europe, the most graphic symbol of the Cold War, the Berlin Wall, came down.

    In his 1998 book about foreign policy, former President George Bush recalled an important meeting at Governors Island with the leader of the Soviet Union after that historic speech:

    "As the ferry carrying Mikhail Gorbachev slowly approached the Coast Guard station at Governors Island through the gray waters of New York harbor, a feeling of tense expectation spread across the waiting knots of US and Soviet officials. The arrival field had been largely cleared of spectators and Coast Guardsmen and their families peered from windows, eagerly waiting to glimpse the Soviet leader as he stepped out onto the island. It was a crisp December 7, 1988, and I was looking toward seeing Gorbachev, who had just finished a major address to the United Nations General Assembly--one filled with farreaching arms control proposals. He was on his way to meet with President Ronald Reagan for a brief summit, which had been tacked on to the tail end of his visit to New York."

    Bush recalled: "His address that day at the UN had been dramatic in both content and delivery, and it was obvious he loved the gamesmanship that went with an appearance there. It was an encouraging speech. Gorbachev had said that the threat or use of force should no longer be an instrument of foreign policy. He had promised to shift Soviet military doctrine to a more defensive stance and would unilaterally reduce their armed forces by 500,000 in two years--which, given their total size, was small but a good start. He also announced that several armored divisions would be withdrawn from Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and East Germany by 1991 and disbanded."

    In planning his trip to the United Nations, Gorbachev had requested a meeting with President Ronald Reagan. With Reagan in final weeks of his presidential term, his advisors felt it important that the visit remain low profile, so there would be no large scale summit or state visit to the White House. Yet, a short and informal meeting between the heads of state and newly elected President George Bush was possible. The White House selected the U.S. Coast Guard base at Governors Island as a meeting site since it was a secure military installation in the middle of New York harbor and just minutes away from the United Nations.

    Bush continued: "A broadly smiling Gorbachev emerged from the ferry waving, dressed in a smartly tailored gray suit and a serious red tie. With only a month and a half to go in his term, this would be Reagan's farewell meeting with a man he had come to respect and for whom he felt genuine fondness and friendship. Reagan had brought the US-Soviet relationship a long way forward. He had dispelled the myth that he opposed absolutely everything to do with the Soviet Union, and the Soviet leaders no longer looked upon him as an unreconstructed Cold Warrior." Meeting in the 1840-era commanding officer's residence that now adjoins the Governors Island National Monument, there were moments of tension and humor.

    As Bush observed: "...he genuinely flared up when Reagan innocently asked him about progress in reform and perestroika. Gorbachev, with some real feeling, replied, "Have you completed all the reforms you need to complete?" I think he had misinterpreted the question as a criticism, because after we talked about our desire to see reform succeed he calmed down considerably and his good humor returned."

    Later on President Reagan humorously noted the only thing he was not able to do during his presidency was to bring horses back to the U.S. cavalry. Gorbachev acknowledged Reagan's love of horses, but shared that he had never had the opportunity to be around them. He told Reagan he could never remember from which side to mount a horse.

    With enthusiasm, Reagan responded: "On the left! On the left! Gorbachev, not expecting such passionate uttering of the word "left" by the politically conservative President and retiring Cold Warrior broke up laughing.

    A photo opportunity presented the media covering the event was that of Reagan, Gorbachev and Bush gathered on a platform on the opposite side of the island with the Statue of Liberty in the background. The symbolism outlasted the moment.

    The role that Governors Island played in the end of the Cold War had implications for the island. The "Peace Dividend" realized by the end of the Cold War resulted in the closing of base in 1996, ending its use as a military installation in New York harbor since 1794.

    The meeting of Gorbachev, Reagan, and Bush took place in the Admiral's House on Governors Island on 12/7/1988.

  4. #64


    Ferry dock on Governors Island.

    South Battery building on Governors Island.

    Inside Castle Williams.

    The view of Manhattan from Governors Island.

  5. #65


    I took this tour 2 weekends ago and it was really a great experience. They do let you walk into some of the buildings, like the mansion pictured above. And a ranger will take you on a free 45 min walking tour with snippets of history. The "campus" of officer's homes was really beautiful and the size of the barrack's building was amazing (slept 1,400 troups!). When you're in the middle of the island, you'd never imagine in a millions years you're a stones throw from NYC. It's silent as any paradise and really pastoral.

    When you're in the center of the prison, a pin drop could be heard all over. The acoustics were amazing, it would make a wonderful theater/performance space in the round (if one could ignore it's notorious history as the death site for thousands of confederate soldiers).

    I'll post some photos later. I totally encourage anyone who's interested to take the ferry over, it's just $6 round trip.

  6. #66




    City planners have come up with four visions for a new Governors Island, including a Disney-like amusement park.

    The 172-acre former Coast Guard base a half-mile off lower Manhattan in New York Harbor could be transformed into a tourist mecca of hotels, stores, restaurants, performance stages and rides under four different models dubbed Destination Island, Innovation Island, Minimum Build Island and Iconic Island.

    The Disney-esque Destination Island model would raze the buildings on the south side of the island, preserve the landmarks on the north side and include domed entertainment venues, outdoor amusement rides, a conference center, "resort residential" units, a shoreline amphitheater and a theme hotel.

    Innovation Island focuses on research and education, and includes a business school, a sports complex, a research campus, dorms, stores, restaurants and a band shell.

    Iconic Island touts the "island at the center of the world," combining boutique hotels and historic buildings with high-rise buildings, a conference center and hotel, and housing.

    Minimum Build Island shows the island with restaurants, retail and preserved historic buildings, but not much else. In this scenario, the whole south side of the island would be parkland. One planner called it a "worst-case scenario" because it would cost $217 million to build and generate little revenue.

    The concepts were put together by the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corp., a state/city subsidiary of the Empire State Development Corp., and were based on 93 responses it received from developers, nonprofits and educators.

    GIPEC interim presiden Paul Kelly said it will cost between $217 million and $368 million to develop the island under a plan that mandates public access and 40 acres of parkland, and the preservation of at least 62 landmarked buildings.

    "We definitely need economic drivers to help pay for all this," he said. "What we'd like to do is get enough economic activity to maintain the island."

    In addition to development costs which would include the construction of a new tunnels to carry water and electricity to the island $60 million is needed over the next few years to restore what's already there, Kelly said.

    He hopes GIPEC will choose proposal winners by the end of 2006 and start building by late 2007.

    The city and state bought the island from the feds in January 2003 for $1.

    Email: angela.

    Power Point presntation from Oct 19th meeting here.

  7. #67

  8. #68


    I dont want it to become another Times Square, a place catering to tourists. I want it to be a place where New Yorkers, as well as tourists, can go and enjoy.

  9. #69

    Default Have paddle will travel

    Quote Originally Posted by Clarknt67
    I'll post some photos later. I totally encourage anyone who's interested to take the ferry over, it's just $6 round trip.
    You will have to wait till the weather gets warmer: but you can get there for FREE.

    I am not certain (not an active member) but I believe that the "downtown boathouse" will continue to run kayak trips to Governors Island
    next summer, leaving from thier new 59th street location: no experience required. This is not a - tour of the island - trip, but a fun/free way to see-it.
    Last edited by infoshare; November 6th, 2005 at 05:08 PM.

  10. #70


    Ideally, I'd like to see them turn Governors Island into a large, top-tier, public university campus. NY doesn't have any public universities with global name recognition. Like Berkeley, UCLA, Michigan, and Virginia. The SUNY & CUNY schools just don't have the global name recognition.

    A large, top-tier, public university like Berkeley would add much more than another amusement park. Besides, a Governor's Island amusement park would probably compete with and detract from the Coney Island revitalization, leading to two lackluster projects with low attendance.

  11. #71




    January 16, 2006

    State and city officials want to create an aerial gondola system that would connect Governors Island to Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan, sources have told The Post.

    Unlike the much-larger aerial tramway connecting Roosevelt Island to Manhattan, the Governors Island gondolas would be about the size of those at skiing centers, carry six to eight people and run more regularly.

    "It could be an attraction onto itself because of the tremendous views," said Paul Kelly, interim president of Governors Island Preservation and Education Corp., which is overseeing the city and state's massive preservation and development project to turn the former Army and Coast Guard base into a major destination.

    Kelly said it is too early to estimate the cost of such a project, but added it would be much cheaper than building a bridge.

    The gondolas, if built, would likely run from the Battery Marine Terminal in lower Manhattan to Governors Island's north end and then to a point near Pier 6 off Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, officials said.

    The 172-acre island is about 400 yards off Brooklyn and around 800 yards south of Manhattan.

    Currently, the only way onto the island is by ferry from Battery Marine Terminal.

    The corporation hopes to add new passenger-ferry service to the island from Pier 6, which is also slated to become part of the proposed Brooklyn Bridge Park.

    Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff and Charles Gargano, the governor's economic-development czar, said the goal is to create enough transportation to link the island's parkland, Brooklyn Bridge Park and the planned East River Waterfront Park in Manhattan.

    "What we are trying to do is create the world's greatest harbor district," said Doctoroff, who chairs the corporation's board of directors.

    The corporation next month will begin soliciting proposals from developers interested in rebuilding the island while preserving its history.

    Some preliminary concepts include transforming the island into a tourist mecca of hotels, stores, restaurants and a marina.

    Plans also call for creating a 2.2-mile esplanade along the island's waterfront and a 40-acre public park.

    The National Parks Service oversees 22 acres on the island, including historic Fort Jay and Castle Williams.

    It is considering setting up separate ferry service connecting its attractions to Liberty and Ellis islands, officials said.

    About $1.1 billion is expected to be invested in developing the island's 92-acre north end.

  12. #72
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003


    Gov. Island is a nice attraction and could make some nice parkland too.....

  13. #73

    Default Head room

    Quote Originally Posted by NYguy
    The gondolas, if built, would likely run from the Battery Marine Terminal in lower Manhattan to Governors Island's north end and then to a point near Pier 6 off Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, officials said.
    At first glace: great idea. However, the overall distance of the cable span seems to me to far to reasonably attempt. Or, mabe not? This one will be fun to watch.

    I will try to post some content here later; mabe phots or G base images.

    (update 1) G Base image.
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    Last edited by infoshare; January 17th, 2006 at 05:23 PM. Reason: new pics

  14. #74


    I wonder how tall this Sky-Ride would have to be to accomodate harbor traffic? That must be a really long distance, no?

  15. #75
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Quote Originally Posted by Dagrecco82
    I wonder how tall this Sky-Ride would have to be to accomodate harbor traffic? That must be a really long distance, no?
    I think the main shipping channel is on the east side of Governors Island, between GI and Brooklyn.

    The distance from GI to the Marine Terminal in Manhattan seems to be about 1/2 mile; the distance to Pier 6 in Brooklyn seems to be a bit more than 1 mile.

    The challenge will be the design of the towers for the Sky-Ride, especially on GI -- which has no buildings of any significant height, other than the venting tower for the Brooklyn / Battery Tunnel.

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