It took about $25 million, a gift from the Kingdom of the Netherlands and lots of hard work to rebuild Peter Minuit Plaza just outside the Staten Island Ferry Terminal. Now, ten years after the work began and nearly 402 years since Henry Hudson first sailed into New York Harbor under the flag of the Dutch East India Company, the Dutch have returned to celebrate the opening of the city's newest gathering spot: the Nieuw Amsterdam Plein and Pavilion. Architect Ben van Berkel and the UNStudio gang, inspired by tulip petals and windmill sails, used white Corian, glass and steel to make it real (these guys do good things with white). It all celebrates the spirit of cooperation and enterprise, stemming from the original Manhattan real estate deal when one smart Dutchman made a killing with 24 bucks back in 1625. On hand for the ribbon cutting were a parcel of politicos and the woman who dreamed it all up: Warrie Price of the Battery Park Conservancy (and good friend to everybody's favorite turkey, downtown diva Zelda, who apparently had a prior commitment and was no where to be found). The Pavilion houses both a visitor information kiosk and a cafe, where the folks from Merchants Market are serving up good eats. Bonus bit o' fun: Every night at 12:00 the entire plaza will be go aglow with colored lights. Why? To honor Peter Minuit, the original Dutch businessman in New York, whose last name translates to 'midnight.'
For those in search of a good read, the plaza has been outfitted with large slabs of stone, all engraved with quotes from "The Island at the Center of the World" that tell the tale of the beginnings of New York. For the visually minded, atop a big boulder sculptor Simon Verity has created a miniature version of New York circa 1660, complete with canals and windmills, formed in bronze. And for the transportation minded, this spot is an intermodal heaven, linking ferries, subways, buses and bikeways. To top it all off, both Plein and Pavilion are surrounded by plantings, with tons of tulips now in full bloom. Partij Tijd!
· Nieuw Amsterdam Plein and Pavilion coverage [Curbed]
· The Future is Now at Transformed Greenwich Village Loft [Curbed]
· Zelda coverage [Curbed]