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New York's Next Great Waterfront Park - Urban Design


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From The Municipal Art Society of New York, advocating for smart urban design, planning, and preservation through education and initiatives.

This report is a synthesis of the ideas generated from a day-long design charrette in June 2011, and represents the community’s vision for a new waterfront open space. MAS released the report to the NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and their consultant for the project, AECOM, with the intention of guiding the future transformation of the former Con Ed Pier into a new community park.

This is the turning point for waterfront access along the East Side of Midtown and is a continuation of MAS’ long standing commitment to bringing New Yorkers back to the waterfront and ensuring that the communities have a voice in shaping their future.

Published in: Design, Business, Technology
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New York's Next Great Waterfront Park - Urban Design

  1. New York’sNext GreatwaterfroNtPark
  2. table of Contents1. l Background ...............................................................................p.01 The Neighborhood New York City Waterfront Policy The Project Site2. l The Opportunity ........................................................................p.05 East River Greenway Study New Funding P.S. 281 & Ferry Service3. l 2011 Charrette .........................................................................p.10 General Themes Issues and Challenges4. l Principles + Strategies .............................................................p.14 PHASE 1: Pier Infrastructure PrinciPlE 1: Get the most value out of the initial investment PrinciPlE 2: Maximize engagement with the water PrinciPlE 3: create changes in elevation PHASE 2: Interim Plan PrinciPlE 4: Improve flexibility and flow PrinciPlE 5: Promote local ecology and education PrinciPlE 6: Create a destination PrinciPlE 7: Build partnerships PHASE 3: Long-Term Plan5. l Conclusion ................................................................................ p.346. l Acknowledgements .................................................................. p.367. l Appendix A .................................................................................p.488. l Appendix B ................................................................................p.60
  3. all Materials are Copyright Mas
  4. 1. I BackGrouNd1 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  5. Background In July of 2011, MAS gathered city officials, designers, planners, civic advocates With renewed momentum in redeveloping the East River Waterfront, MAS and community members to collect ideas for transforming the former Con continues to work to articulate a community driven vision for the future of New 1 Ed Pier/Waterside Pier into a first rate park for residents of the East Side of York City’s waterfront. This report outlines our most recent work and captures Manhattan. This report is a synthesis of the ideas expressed that day and is a the many important ideas that came from the charrette that was held on July 26, testament to the creativity that emerges from collaboration. 2011. The goal of the discussion, also known as a charrette, was twofold: 1. To bring attention to the East Side’s desperate need for publicly accessible open space; and 2. To articulate a community driven vision for a new waterfront park. After successfully developing waterfront open space in a number of other neighborhoods, the City is focused on unlocking the potential of the East River Waterfront. There is funding in place to begin to rehabilitate the pier and the City has selected a consultant to undertake a careful study of the waterfront between East 38th Street and East 60th Street. Now is a critical time for the future of the East River Waterfront. In October of 2011, the City and State signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that would help fund the East River Greenway between East 38th Street and East 60th Street. The initial funds will come from two sources. First, the sale of a portion of the Robert Moses playground to the United Nations. Second, the sale of two office towers that are owned by the City where the UN currently occupies space at below market rate rents.2 The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) has a long history of advocating for thoughtful development along New York’s waterfront. Our work over the years has often involved collaborating with city officials, communities, designers and planning professionals to seize opportunities to create great new open spaces 2011 East River Waterfront Charrette Participants and improve waterfront policy. In 2007, MAS hosted a charrette to envision a new park on the East Side Waterfront, to be integrated with the development proposed by the East River Realty Company on a site across from the FDR Drive. 1 In this report, the site is referred to as the former Con Ed Pier although in other documentation it is referred to as Waterside Pier. We have kept the Con Ed pier name as a historical reminder of the pier’s proximity to a power plant that occupied the East River Realty site. 2 For more details on the MOU: New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  6. The Neighborhood The former Con Ed Pier, located along the East River between East 38th and East 41st Streets, represents a tremendous opportunity to turn an unused pier into a wonderful new waterfront park. The site is located within Manhattan Community Board 6 (CB6). CB6 roughly covers the area on the East Side of Manhattan from 14th to 59th Streets, and from the East River to Lexington Avenue. While the population of CB6 is about average for a community district, it has a mere 26 acres of parkland, compared to an average of 198 acres in other Manhattan districts. In addition, the latest census figures show a steadily growing population, particularly in young children and the elderly, pointing to a vital need for additional open Site Location space in the area. New York city Waterfront Policy From rivers to creeks, canals, bays and sounds, the waterfront is central to New East River North Recommended Areas of Work, Vision 2020: York’s identity. The East River, which runs along the former Con Ed Pier, is one New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan of the more important waterways, separating Manhattan and the Bronx from In March 2011, Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn Brooklyn and Queens. Unfortunately, highways, industry, and infrastructure have released a citywide plan entitled the Waterfront Vision and Enhancement Strategy historically blocked pedestrian access to the river, and the connections that do (WAVES), which includes Vision 2020: New York City Comprehensive Waterfront exist are often inadequate, unreliable, or unsafe. Consequently, New Yorkers and Plan and the New York City Waterfront Action Agenda. Vision 2020, developed visitors alike have been unable to take advantage of their proximity to this great by the Department of City Planning with extensive community participation and resource. input from MAS and other organizations, established long-term goals for the future of New York City’s waterfront. All of these long-term planning efforts for In 2004, to address these challenges, the New York City Department of City New York City’s shoreline prioritize the open space needs of residential waterfront Planning published the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway Master Plan. This plan communities. In fact, Vision 2020 specifically identifies the former Con Ed pier sought to provide an uninterrupted path along the perimeter of Manhattan. Many as a potential waterfront open space. portions of the plan have now been successfully implemented. Now is the time to turn that potential into a reality.3 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  7. The Project Site Former Con Ed Pier and Solow Site Architects Working at the 2007 East River Waterfront Charrette The land between East 38th and East 41st Streets across from the FDR Drive In June 2007, in response to ERRC’s development plan, MAS lead a design and the former Con Ed Pier was the site of a massive Con Edison power plant. charrette in collaboration with City Council Member Daniel Garodnick, State The plant was demolished after the 9.7-acre site was purchased in 2002 by Senator Liz Krueger, the Reed Foundation and CB6 to generate a cohesive and developer Sheldon Solow, who heads the East River Realty Company (ERRC). inspired vision for the site. The ERRC plan initially proposed six residential towers of 3.5 million square In March 2008, the City Council approved the Solow plan and CB6’s 197a plan feet with approximately 4,000 apartments, one commercial tower of 1.4 million with modifications. The economic downturn and subsequent changes in the real square feet, and approximately 4.8 acres of open space. estate climate stalled progress on the ERRC project and nothing on the site has yet been built.4 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  8. 2. I The oPPorTuNITY5 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  9. The opportunity The former Con Ed Pier is approximately 34,000 square feet in size, and, until recently, had been under lease to Con Edison for use as a parking lot. In 2010, Con Edison’s lease with the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services expired and the site was turned over to the City. The pier is immediately to the north of Glick Park, which stretches from East 34th Street to East 38th Street and stops at the foot of the pier. Directly to the west of the site is the FDR Drive, with an exit ramp at 42nd Street that is elevated above grade. Over the past year, there have been several critical developments that need to be leveraged in order to build NYC’s next waterfront park. These include: • East River Greenway Study • New Funding • P.S. 281 and the East River Ferry Service Glick Park Facing North6 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  10. east river Greenway Study In the spring of 2011, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYC EDC), on behalf of the City of New York, submitted a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the East Midtown Waterfront Esplanade and Greenway Project. The RFP was released in partnership with the Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) and the Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC DPR). In June 2011, NYC EDC selected the engineering, planning and design firm, AECOM. AECOM is now undertaking a waterfront open space feasibility study between East 38th Street and East 60th Street. The study will provide a much more detailed picture of the cost of constructing new waterfront open space. The four major components of the study are: • The potential re-use of 24 existing support structures, which are now in the East River, to create an esplanade between 53rd Street and 59th Street. These structures were originally built to support construction work on the FDR Drive, but could be re-used to provide structural support for a new open space; • The UN Esplanade Project, which could establish a new walkway along the East River between East 41st Street and East 51st Street to the east of the UN campus; Aerial View of the Former Con Ed Pier • Improving connections to the waterfront from the surrounding neighborhoods; and • The potential for new open space at the former Con Ed Pier, the focus of this report.7 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  11. New Funding The MOU, signed in October of 2011, permits the City to sell a portion of Robert Moses Playground (located on First Avenue between East 41st and 42nd Street) to the United Nations. The UN would then consolidate their office space in a new building on this site, allowing the City to sell two City-owned office buildings where the UN is renting space at below market rents.3 The MOU also creates an Eastside Greenway and Park Board (EGAP Board) to oversee the development of the greenway. The EGAP Board will consist of eleven members: six members will be appointed by the Mayor, while the remaining five members will be appointed by the local elected officials. The EGAP Board will oversee the Eastside Greenway and Park Fund (EGAP Fund), which will be formed with a $70 million payment from the United Nations Development Corporation (UNDC) for the land where Robert Moses Playground is currently located. Additional funds will be generated from the sale of United Nations 1 (UN 1) and United Nations 2 (UN 2). With the signing of the MOU, and the future construction of a new UN Tower on the Robert Moses Playground site, new funding for open space will be available, but there will also be thousands of new workers coming to the area. Given the United Nations Secretariat Building scarcity of open space on the East Side of Manhattan, public open space on the In July 2011, the city received a $13 million dollar payment from Con Edison for former Con Ed Pier needs to be provided prior to the construction of a new UN structural rehabilitation work on the pier. In addition, Councilmember Garodnick, building. a champion of developing new open space along the East River, was successful in allocating $1 million in funds to provide amenities for a new park on the site. To supplement the $13 million received from Con Edison to stabilize the pier, the state legislature passed legislation that allowed city and state officials to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to generate additional funding. 3 For more information please visit: New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  12. P.S. 281 & Ferry Service A new public school, P.S. 281, is being built near the former Con Ed Pier site at First Avenue, and East 35th Street, and in June of 2011, the City began to operate a new East River Ferry Service with a stop on East 34th Street. Both the school and the ferry will attract a number of new people to the area – ranging from commuters, to tourists, to young children and their parents – who will benefit from a welcoming open space. The combination of all of these factors served as a catalyst for MAS to host a second charrette for the East River Waterfront on July 26, 2011. Given the City’s interest in developing open space on the the former Con Ed Pier, and the immediate funding available for the rehabilitation of the pier, MAS focused the 2011 charrette on the pier. The goal of the charrette was to provide the City and its consultants with an outline of the community’s goals and priorities for a new waterfront park. The New East River Ferry9 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  13. 3. I 2011 charreTTe10 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  14. 2011 charrette This intensive workshop set out to facilitate meaningful community engagement in the development of a new park, while putting the conversation within the context of the City’s waterfront priorities. The day began with remarks from elected officials, including Councilmember Daniel Garodnick, State Senator Liz Krueger, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney’s office, and Mark Thompson, Chair of CB6. David Quart, Senior Vice President at NYC EDC, Joshua Laird, Assistant Commissioner at NYC DPR, and John West from CB6 and a member of the MAS Planning Committee also gave presentations providing critical background information. See the Appendices for these presentations. Participants were divided into six groups, each with several community members, an architect, and a MAS staff-member. Other participants included representatives from organizations such as the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, Transportation Alternatives, NYU Hospitals, School Construction Authority, Solar 1 and the UNDC. The work sessions were divided into two hour-and-a-half blocks. An architect was selected to act as a facilitator for each of the six tables. They were George Vellonakis, George Bloomer and Jim Mituzas from NYC DPR; Mary Margaret Jones, Hargreaves Associates; Chris Marcinkoski, PORT; and Dong-Ping Wong, FAMILY. MAS provided the facilitators with discussion guidelines and questions to help organize and shape the brainstorming process. The culmination of these Former Con Ed Pier Facing North discussions was a presentation to the rest of the groups at the end of the day. General Themes and Spirit Participants were energized by the possibility of turning this unused piece of land into a vital resource for the community. The conversations initially focused on analyzing the issues and challenges facing the former Con Ed Pier site. The dialogue then shifted to identifying those design and implementation approaches that would get the former Con Ed Pier open as soon as possible, while simultaneously turning it into a first-rate open space and community resource.11 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  15. Issues and challenges Pedestrian safety. The former Con Ed Pier runs along the FDR Drive and its access roads, where cars drive at very high speeds. In creating access points to the park, careful thought must be given to pedestrian and bicycle connections to provide comfortable and safe access to the park. Loud noise and pollution. With the park adjacent to the FDR Drive, there is a lot of noise and other kinds of pollution from the cars and trucks that speed by. This can be an impediment to certain programming in the park, such as outdoor movies and concerts. In designing the park, consideration should be given to structures, landscaping, and changes in elevation that would mitigate the loud noise coming from the highway and improve the air quality. Lack of identity. One of the challenges of this site is that very few people know it View of the Former Con Ed Pier from Glick Park exists – it does not have a clear sense of place or history. In developing the design and amenities of the park, many of the participants noted that it should be given In brainstorming various design and programming elements for the former Con a name that is representative of the site’s history and relationship to the water. Ed Pier, the charrette groups identified a number of challenges. As the pier lies on what formerly was a bay, one group recommended that the park be named “East Bay Park.” Another complementary approach to creating Access from the north end. The only entrance to the former Con Ed Pier is from this sense of identity was to find ways to express values, like environmental the south at 38th Street through Glick Park. As the remainder of the East River stewardship, in the design of the open space. Greenway is constructed, the former Con Ed Pier site will be connected to that network. However, as it currently stands, the former Con Ed Pier has a dead end on East 41st Street. As a result, the groups discussed several ideas to create entrances at the northern end of the park to provide greater accessibility and connectivity.12 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  16. Issues and challenges Potential Access Points to the East River13 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  17. 4. I PrINcIPleS + STraTeGIeS14 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  18. Principles and Strategies The intention of the charrette was not to create a final design for the open space, but rather to formulate design principles. As it will be several years until the East River Waterfront Esplanade from East 38th Street to East 60th Street is completed, the charrette participants had to bear in mind a design approach that would create a stand alone park that would reflect the community’s priorities, while also recognizing that in the long term, the park will be incorporated into a larger greenway along the East River. The first phase of the project is the creation of a structurally sound pier. This is an opportunity to think about providing the park with some form and identity and to make sure that any design features, such as the location of trees or changes in elevation, can be incorporated into the structural rehabilitation work in order to make park construction as cost effective as possible.15 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  19. PhaSe 1: PIer INFraSTrucTure ensure that the rebuilding of the pier infrastructure considers critical park design elements.16 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  20. PrINcIPle 1: GeT The moST value ouT oF The INITIal INveSTmeNT The design for the park needs to be reflected in the pier infrastructure. The design of the edge of the park and the topographic elevation are two key elements that will be determined as the pier is rebuilt. These two decisions will have an impact on access to the water, park identity and form. Examples where this approach has been successfully implemented are Pier 46 and Pier 64 at Hudson River Park. Pier 46 includes built-in tree pits and a sunken lawn – both features that were built into the structure of the pier – while Pier 64 gradually rises over 10 feet above the water. The tree pits and sunken lawn of Pier 46 and the slope of Pier 64 were design decisions that were made when the infrastructure was built. Moreover, the ERRC site plan provides for the continuation of 39th and 40th Streets as pedestrian ways that can span the FDR Drive if the elevated exit ramp is eliminated or depressed. It is critical that we consider these kinds of structural elements now in order to create a unique new park that maximizes the benefits of the initial infrastructure investment.17 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  21. Rough Outlines of Piers at Queens West Are Shaped to Allow Access to the Water and Corner Pier 46 at Hudson River Park Includes Built-In Tree Pits and Sunken Lawn Gathering Places Pier 64 at the Hudson River Park Gradually Rises Over 10 Feet Above the Water18 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  22. PrINcIPle 2: maxImIze eNGaGemeNT WITh The WaTer The waterfront is both a spectacle with a myriad of activities to watch, as well as a place of active physical engagement. Not surprisingly, a number of charrette participants suggested that very careful consideration be given to interacting directly with the water and finding space for water related activities. Opportunities that were discussed included step downs, boat launches, fishing areas, tidal pools, viewing platforms and beach areas, among others. Varying the design and use of the perimeter of the pier will allow for different interactions with the water. Cuts into the structure were also discussed at length, creating additional points of access to the water along the perimeter of the pier as well as within the pier to create “tidal pools.” These “tidal pools” could create a unique window into the water and help to celebrate and measure the significant improvements in water quality over the last thirty years.19 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  23. Step Down to the Water Urban Beach Concept20 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  24. PrINcIPle 3: creaTe chaNGeS IN elevaTIoN The adjacent elevated FDR Drive generates noise, which flows down onto the pier. The topography of the pier can help mitigate these conditions, as well as provide visitors breathtaking views of New York City and the East River. In addition to providing places for viewing, these elevated areas can support a variety of activities, such as sledding, and provide a setting for movies, concerts, and other public events. In the reconstruction of the pier, thinking through potential elevation changes will help to literally lay the foundation for a new park, which leverages the unique advantages of this particular site. Raising the elevation at the north end also creates the potential for later building a connection between the pier and the city street grid, or a connection to a future pedestrianized FDR access ramp.21 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  25. Hilltop and Overlook Concept Passageway between the FDR Drive and the Former Con Ed Pier Park Elevation Change Concept22 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  26. PhaSe 2: INTerIm PlaN To create a functional stand alone park until future connections to the esplanade can be built.23 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  27. PrINcIPle 4: ImProve FlexIBIlITY aNd FloW Until additional access points are created by the ERRC at 39th and 40th Streets and by potentially converting the elevated FDR Drive exit ramp at 42nd Street into a passageway to the park, pedestrians, bicyclists, and skateboarders will enter the park from the south. A bike share station could be located at the southern edge of the pier or close to the ferry station to help reinforce the idea of the ferry station as a transit hub, enabling morning commuters to hop off the ferry and then ride into Midtown or the hospital corridor further to the south. Visibility through the open space was a priority as many felt that care should be taken not to create hidden pockets. Most also felt that the water’s edge should be reserved for pedestrians, while bicyclists and others could be integrated in the western portion of the site. In addition, the narrow pier should not be so overwhelmed by pathways that gathering spaces are diminished. A flexible gathering space, which accommodates community events, markets, and passive and active recreation of all kinds should be included in the plan. Providing a gathering space and creatively programming this space with a variety of events will help bring people to the site until better connections can be established.24 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  28. Circulation Path Concept Park Program Ideas Connection Ideas25 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  29. PrINcIPle 5: PromoTe local ecoloGY aNd educaTIoN This area had in fact been a bay before it was filled for development. Suggestions Design features that help improve the ecology of the pier should also be for naming the area “East Bay” or another historically based name were suggested. considered including: Some groups also suggested using the pier as a laboratory for understanding • Composting toilets climate change and sea level rise. Further to the south at approximately East • Storm water collection gardens 20th Street and the East River is Stuyvesant Cove Park, which provided many • Native plants and habitats sources of inspiration for how ecology and education can be integrated into park • A vegetative pier edge design. Activities related to the natural qualities of the site include: • Bird watching • Gardens • Community gardens • Science lab • Tidal pool26 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  30. Looking South From Stuyvesant Cove Park (Credit: Transpoman) Urban Farm Concept27 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  31. PrINcIPle 6: creaTe a deSTINaTIoN To overcome the isolation and potential security issues at the remote, disconnected north end of the pier, the community understood the necessity of providing an attractive destination at this side of the park. Suggestions included a heightened elevation at the northern end to provide a sense of arrival (hilltop viewing destination) and potentially help to create a future link to the City streets. Other suggestions include: • A small but unique food service establishment • A beach – both a temporary and permanent use – sunbathing, volleyball • Temporary barges for activities – pools, theater, concerts • Creative programming – fishing docks, farmer’s market28 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  32. Potential Destinations for the Northern End: Hill and Beach29 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  33. PrINcIPle 7: BuIld ParTNerShIPS As many of the landscape architects pointed out, a plan for maintaining a park is as important as the design. The participants discussed many precedents, from Stuyvesant Cove to Brooklyn Bridge Park to the Tudor City Gardens, for models of partnership and organization to sustain the park. The various tasks required include park maintenance, programming and potentially fundraising. Programs for special events, boating, community services and many other activities must be planned and orchestrated by the organization. Above all, the transformation of the former Con Ed Pier site into a public park will only be successful if the community takes a leadership role in the maintenance and future development of the site. A number of groups in nearby Tudor City have already been very active in the maintenance of park spaces in that neighborhood. This demonstrates a great deal of capacity within the community that can be brought to bear in service of this park.30 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  34. Suggested Partners and Activities31 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  35. PhaSe 3: loNG-Term PlaN To integrate the former con ed Pier with the esplanade to the north and create better connections to the rest of the city.32 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  36. long-Term Plan for the continuation of 39th and 40th Streets to the park site provided that the elevated exit ramp to the FDR Drive is eliminated or depressed. This will help create safe points of access at locations throughout the length of the former Con Ed Pier site. Multiple points of access will attract visitors to the park, while also helping to fully integrate this new amenity into the neighborhood. Minimizing the impact of FDR The FDR Drive is a major safety and accessibility issue for the development of the East Side Waterfront. Eventually, the FDR Drive between approximately 25th Street and 42nd Street will be rebuilt. Therefore, thought should be given to how it can be reconstructed to minimize the impact on the waterfront open spaces and support access from the surrounding neighborhoods to the waterfront. This has been done in the past with the West Side Highway, which was completely demolished in 1989 as a result of neglect and lack of maintenance. In the case of the West Side Highway, removing the elevated portion served as an asset in developing one of New York City’s most successful waterfront parks, Hudson River Park. There are different challenges on the East Side, but any long-term plan needs to consider how to overcome the barrier to the water that the FDR Drive presents and ensure that any future reconstruction work of the FDR Drive considers pedestrian, bicycle and ferry access. Long-Term Vision from the 2007 Charrette Expanding East River Ferry service to 42nd Street As progress is made on infrastructure development and design of the park, the Opening in June of 2011, the East River Ferry has accomplished a major goal community and the City need to work together to develop a plan to integrate this of bringing New Yorkers to the waterfront. According to The New York Times, new amenity into the fabric of the surrounding neighborhood. ridership of the ferry service on the weekends averages approximately 4,500, which is almost six times the City’s projection. The success of the East River 42nd Street exit ramp Ferry represents an opportunity for increased service and the potential to add Plans should be studied that evaluate the feasibility of converting the existing FDR additional stops to its route. Currently, the northern most stop is at 34th Street. exit ramp at 42nd Street into an entrance for the park. This would entail closing As 42nd Street is arguably New York’s most thriving commercial corridor, plans the exit ramp to traffic and connecting it to the existing street grid. Transforming should be considered to expand the East River Ferry service to 42nd Street. the exit ramp into a safe pedestrian entrance at the northern most part of the former Con Ed Pier site is a creative solution to the difficult challenge of providing Develop a unique design and identity for the park through history access from the upland areas to the waterfront. The history of the East River and Midtown East should be expressed in the design of the park amenities, which will imbue this new waterfront park with a sense of Integrating access from the ERRC site to the waterfront place that is connected to the community. This will continue to help differentiate The future residential towers being built along First Avenue by ERRC will serve as the park that will be built on the former Con Ed Pier site from other parks in New an impetus to connect the city streets to the park site. The ERRC site plan calls York City, and create a vibrant unique public space for New Yorkers to enjoy.33 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  37. 5. I coNcluSIoN34 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  38. conclusion MAS has long been an advocate of open space development along New York City’s waterfront and specifically along the East River. With renewed commitment on the part of the City and the availability of new funding, now is a critical moment for the East River Waterfront. In July 2011, MAS hosted a charrette to generate design ideas for one portion of the proposed waterfront esplanade – the former Con Ed Pier located along the East River from 38th to 41st Streets. The charrette served as a forum for the community to articulate their ideas. The ideas that were presented at the charrette, which have been described throughout this report, are a reflection of what is possible for the future East River Waterfront Esplanade. While the waterfront esplanade from 38th to 60th Streets will not be completed for a number of years, there is funding for the immediate rehabilitation of the former Con Ed Pier, which will lay the ground work for a new waterfront park. As work begins on rehabilitating the pier and designing the park amenities, MAS encourages the City and the consultant, AECOM, to consider the thoughtful ideas the community articulated. We are confident that the new park on the former Con Ed Pier will provide a much needed open space for all neighbors and all New Yorkers to enjoy, while also supporting its future waterfront development along the East River. We hope that this kind of collaboration between the City, the community board, neighboring institutions, elected officials, non-profits and residents continues to demonstrate the value of collaboration for other projects across the City.35 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  39. 6. I ackNoWledGemeNTS36 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  40. acknowledgements Special thanks to Barbara Wilks and her firm W Architecture and Landscape The Reed Foundation Architecture and Melany Wimpee, Marketing Director at W Architecture and New York State Council on the Arts Landscape Architecture. Manhattan Community Board Six Mark Thompson Municipal Art Society of New York: Ellen Imbimbo US Representative Carolyn Maloney Vin Cipolla, President State Senator Liz Krueger State Senator Thomas Duane Eugenie Birch, Chair MAS Program Committee State Assembly Member Jonathan Bing Hugh Hardy, Chair MAS Planning Committee State Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh John West, MAS Planning Committee City Council Member Daniel Garodnick City Council Member Jessica Lappin Frank Sanchis, Senior Advisor City Council Member Rosie Mendez Ronda Wist, Senior Vice President, Policy and Advocacy Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer Raju Mann, Director of Planning Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance Joel Kolkmann, Project Manager, Policy and Advocacy ’wichcraft Paul Kelterborn, Project Manager, Public Programs David Smucker, Intern, Policy and Advocacy David Quart, NYC Economic Development Corporation Juan Camilo Osorio, Senior Planner / GIS Analyst Cali Gorewitz, NYC Economic Development Corporation Aileen Gorsuch, Associate Planner Laura Bozgo, NYC Economic Development Corporation Kokutona Kaijage, Assistant GIS Analyst Joshua Laird, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation Hazel Balaban, Manager, Communications and Marketing Michael Bradley, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation Alana Farkas, Public Programs Associate MAS would like to thank all of the participants and the following architects who New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park is a project of the Municipal Art offered their time and expertise to facilitating discussions at the 2011 charrette: Society of New York rooted in the organization’s commitment to making New York City more livable through intelligent urban design, planning and George Bloomer, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation preservation. MAS would like to thank the following organizations and Jim Mituzas, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation individuals for their leadership and support in envisioning New York’s Next George Vellonakis, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation Great Waterfront Park: Mary Margaret Jones, Hargreaves Associates Christopher Marcinkoski, PORT Architecture + Urbanism Dong-Ping Wong, Family Architects37 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  41. 7. I aPPeNdIx a38 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park
  42. Waterside Pier & East Midtown Waterfront Overview Municipal Arts Society Charrette July 26, 2011 1 EAST MIDTOWN WATERFRONT & WATERSIDE PIER
  43. Agenda§ Project Context – UN Consolidation Project – East Midtown Waterfront§ Project Overview: Waterside Pier§ Waterfront and Open Space Examples 2 EAST MIDTOWN WATERFRONT & WATERSIDE PIER
  44. Project Context§ Challenge of waterfront access on the East Side – In-water construction is costly and subject to regulatory hurdles – FDR structure makes upland connections challenging – Project requires comprehensive approach§ Project timing – why now? – Community Board 6 lacks open space; new upland park opportunities are limited – Con Ed payment allows for structural rehab of Waterside Pier – Federal and State grants to fund esplanade feasibility study – UN Consolidation Project provides new opportunity to realize waterfront 3 EAST MIDTOWN WATERFRONT & WATERSIDE PIER
  45. Project Context: UN Consolidation Project§ United Nations faces space challenges – Constrained campus – Rents space in City-owned buildings and various private properties throughout East Midtown – Long-standing need to expand and desire to consolidate§ Project summary – State legislation may allow UN to construct new Consolidation Building at Robert Moses Playground – MOU required – Project would facilitate new esplanade Robert Moses Playground (portion) from 38th to 60th Streets, and upland open space improvements 4 EAST MIDTOWN WATERFRONT & WATERSIDE PIER
  46. Project Context: East Midtown Waterfront§ EDC, in partnership with Parks and City DOT, will conduct feasibility study for waterfront greenway – Scope includes full ODR structural/marine design for Waterside Pier rehabilitation§ East Midtown Esplanade: Robert Moses – ODR Playground UN Esplanade – UN Esplanade – Waterside Pier – Upland Connections Glick Park ConEd Waterside Pier§ UN Consolidation Project is only foreseeable source of capital funding to realize waterfront vision 5 EAST MIDTOWN WATERFRONT & WATERSIDE PIER
  47. Project Overview: Waterside Pier ConEd Waterside Pier (~34,000 SF) 6 EAST MIDTOWN WATERFRONT & WATERSIDE PIER
  48. Project Overview: Waterside PierPier requires complete structural rehabilitation/rebuild required§ Recent $13 million payment from Con Ed§ Work anticipated to begin early fall on investigations and pre- design of piles and deckingCity to commence conceptual designand feasibility study for waterfrontesplanade§ Charrette provides early opportunity for public input§ Project outreach to be coordinated through CB6 7 EAST MIDTOWN WATERFRONT & WATERSIDE PIER
  49. Project Overview: Waterside Pier§ Opportunities – Create waterfront access – Make Pier accessible for future public use – Extend Manhattan Greenway north from Glick Park§ Challenges – Significant damage and deterioration of concrete deck and timber sub-structure – No capital funding available for open space finishes at this time 8 EAST MIDTOWN WATERFRONT & WATERSIDE PIER
  50. Waterside Pier – Existing ConditionsSerious cracking across the deck surface Substantial weakening of piles 9 EAST MIDTOWN WATERFRONT & WATERSIDE PIER
  51. Waterside Pier – Existing Conditions Significant deterioration of piles and sub-structure 10 EAST MIDTOWN WATERFRONT & WATERSIDE PIER
  52. Project Overview: Waterside PierCriticalconsiderations:• Phasing—first goal is the rehabilitation of Waterside Pier• Permits—coordinate with regulatory agencies• Budget—understand NYC precedents Waterside Pier looking west 11 EAST MIDTOWN WATERFRONT & WATERSIDE PIER
  53. Riverside Park “Riverwalk”Description: Eight-block pile supported bikeway/walkway adjacent to Henry HudsonParkwaySize: 33,000 sfDate of Completion: 2010 12 EAST MIDTOWN WATERFRONT & WATERSIDE PIER
  54. Waterfront & Open Space Examples: Piers 25 & 26Description: Pier 25 – sand volleyball courts, 18-hole miniature golf course, largechildren’s playground with water features, artificial turf lawn area, snack bar, town dockand provisions for historic vesselsPier 26 – Fully reconstructed marine platform, dock and fendering for future non-motorized boathouse/restaurant building, estuarium building and public open spaceSize:Pier 25 – 130,000 sfPier 26 – 117,500 sfDates of Completion:Pier 25 – 2010Pier 26 – 2009 (pierstructure only) 13 EAST MIDTOWN WATERFRONT & WATERSIDE PIER
  55. East River Waterfront EsplanadeDescription: Project will improve access, enhance pedestrian connectivity, and create publicamenities along a two-mile stretch of the waterfront, from Battery Maritime Building to theLower East Side. First segment includes passive open space areas with varied seating,game tables, native plantings and trees, a “Look-Out” (stadium-like steps leading to thewater) and a new dog park.Size: Approx. 62,000 sfDate of Completion (Segment 1):June 2011 14 EAST MIDTOWN WATERFRONT & WATERSIDE PIER
  56. West Harlem Piers ParkDescription: Waterfront park on the Hudson River between 125th and 135th Streets,includes passive recreational space (benches, lawn spaces, public art), bicycle pathwayconnecting, water play feature, excursion boat pier, floating barge for ferry landings andrecreational pier.Size: Approx. 80,000 sfDate of Completion: Fall 2008 15 EAST MIDTOWN WATERFRONT & WATERSIDE PIER
  57. Brooklyn Bridge Park – Pier 1 “Pop Up” ParkDescription: Temporary sand play area, seating and railings on existing pierSize: 35,000 sfDate of Completion: 2010 16 EAST MIDTOWN WATERFRONT & WATERSIDE PIER
  60. Project Overview: Waterfront and UN Consolidation 19 EAST MIDTOWN WATERFRONT & WATERSIDE PIER
  61. Vision 2020 Action Agenda 20EAST MIDTOWN WATERFRONT & WATERSIDE PIER
  62. Vision 2020 Action AgendaWAVES GOALS1. Expand public access.2. Enliven the waterfront.3. Support the working waterfront.4. Improve water quality.5. Restore the natural waterfront.6. Enhance the Blue Network.7. Improve government oversight.8. Increase climate resilience. 21 EAST MIDTOWN WATERFRONT & WATERSIDE PIER
  63. 8. I aPPeNdIx B60 New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park