It was just over three years ago when we first laid eyes on an exciting batch of renderings showing Governors Island largely converted to a stunning park with marshes, hills and winding paths. Completion was set for 2013, but political sparring over funding for the island derailed the process. So what have the architects been doing? Why, making more renderings, of course!! The updated designs for Governors Island?including a 2.2-mile waterfront Great Promenade and 40 acres of new parkland on the island's southern half?have been in hiding while the city worked out a deal to seize the island and kick-start its transformation. The deal is done, and the first phase of the plan is expected to begin in 2012. Both the Times and the Architects Newspaper reveal renderings of the new-look Governors Island, compiled in the gallery above. So what are we looking at?
The marshlands and artificial hills (which will have stunning Lower Manhattan/harbor views) are still well represented, as are playing fields, a "hammock grove" and all sorts interesting architecture. The city has already committed $41.5 million to the first phase, which NYT architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff breaks down:
A new ferry landing area is to be built at the northern end of the island, with a big shaded lawn overlooking the Lower Manhattan skyline. The northern half of the Great Promenade, which will eventually encircle the entire island, will allow people to stroll along the waterfront under a shaded walkway with views that reach from the Statue of Liberty to Brooklyn Heights. And the city will replace the asphalt parking lot on the south side of McKim, Mead & White’s 1929 Liggett Hall, an old Army barracks that divides the island in half: visitors passing through the hall’s central archway will emerge onto a mosaic terrace bordered by flower beds.Then comes the hard part: raising $220 million for the rest of the island paradise (the Post's Rich Calder reports a Red Hook ferry landing is also in play). Enter the "development zones," the gray areas somewhat menacingly sticking out in the island plans. NYU is of course an option, as are, Ouroussoff writes, "luxury hotels and a conference center." College dorms vs. Trump Governors Island? Tough call.
· Governors Island Vision Adds Hills and Hammocks [NYT]
· Taming Governors Island [Architects Newspaper]
· City Gets Control of Governors Island and Starts Making Plans [Curbed]