Gantry Plaza State Park

Thomas Balsley Associates

Once a working waterfront teeming with barges, tugboats, and rail cars Hunters Point shoreline slowly succumbed to the realities of the post-Indus Age. As the last rail barge headed into the sunset of the New Jersey shore this spectacular site was left to deteriorate to a point where it shamed community it once supported. A new waterfront park was planned and.desig as part of a multi-use development called Queens West.

awards

Grand Award, International Waterfront Center; 2001 Design Award, EDRA/PLACES 2001 Honor Award, American Society of Landscape Architects;

2001 Architectural Award of Excellence, Tucker 2004 Honor Award, American Society of Landscape Architects, New York Chapter.

The park's first phase is directly across the East River from the United Nat and is divided into three areas. The Promontory is a great lawn with a nai shoreline edge that takes full advantage of the stunning view of the Manha" skyline. In North Gantry Plaza, the skyline is framed by restored gantries - giga structures that once transferred railcars onto rail barges. Framed by tree-sha cafés, a fog fountain and game tables, the plaza accommodates 30,000 view for the 4th of July fireworks. South Gantry Interpretive Garden is a contempla space formed by two paths; here, stepping-stone blacks provide the visitor . direct access to the water and look as if they had been abandoned only yesterc Four unique pier "follies" expand the water-edge experience.

In his review of Gantry Plaza State Park, New York Times critic Herbert Muschs commented, "The miracle of Gantry Park is that it takes risks in city that has been frightened of them. The payoff is spectacular."

Plaza Landscape Design

T Aerial view of park. Existing conditions.

Gantry Plaza State Park Seats Night

T Cove bridge transitions from active plaza to contemplative garden space, i Fog fountain and future site of rail workers monument.

Park Design Architectural MonumentGantry Plaza State ParkGantry Plaza

I .e rndge and gantries attract night activities. " r °:erpretive garden with embedded rail ties and rails as planting curbs

Landscape Design Activities

\\ Intimacy is attained with openness and immensity.

\ All generations enjoy a contemporary game table with views.

«— Meandering paths and flowing vegetation frames the views.

T-e wave bench terminates in a - - <jnity fishing table with stools and : ear ig spigots.

• ivjDle-width chaise lounge chairs >;:«:n sunbathers and stargazers.

• car table and stools at sunset.

: -I'rvnanily native plants protected :-i sc: t-faced blocks e blocks as rip-rap offer unique ::::'*jnfty to put feet in the river.

client

Queens Wes: Devetoprent Corporation,

Empire State Development Corporation.

NYC Economic 1 .e^efopmenî Corporation.

Pon Authority of NY arid MJ

other key consultants

Co-Designer s Sowrski Sullrvan Architects and

Lee Weintraub !. ignting Domingo Scnzates Associates Graphics 212 Harakawa Exhibit Raiph AppeibaufTi Associates location

Long Island City Queens. New York completion

1996

photography

Thomas Baisiey, Betsy Pinover Schiff. Michae' -<oontz

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