The ceremonial groundbreaking for the Hudson Yards towers took place last week, but this isn't the first part of the West Side transformation to get underway. A four-acre stretch of tree-lined green space, called Hudson Park and Boulevard, that will connect Hudson Yards with 42nd Street broke ground earlier this year. The designs for the park were chosen way back in 2008, and aside from brief mentions in Hudson Yards updates, it seems like no one has really paid much attention to it over the last few years, despite it being billed as the central pedestrian spine that will connect the mega-development to the rest of the city.
Michael Van Valkenburgh Landscape Architects designed the park, and the first phase of construction, from 33rd to 36th Streets is directly tied to the development of the 7 train extension, as the new subway entrances will be located within the park. The 30-foot wide open space, which runs between 10th and 11th Avenues, was originally planned as part of the Olympics bid, and, in preparation, an amendment was made to the city map back in 2006. Google street view reveals that the mid-block space is empty and surrounded with construction fencing.
The second phase of the park, which has no timeline right now, is the most interesting. From 36th to 39th Streets, it will continue as green spaces divided by streets, but to connect it to 42nd Street, a pedestrian bridge will be built over the Lincoln Tunnel entrance and 40th Street. This part of the project is probably lightyears away, but whenever it's finally realized, the bridge will have grassy lawns and small sports fields. At the southern end, the part will eventually connect to the High Line, so the next generation may be able to take a walk in the park all the way from the Meatpacking District to Times Square.
· Hudson Park and Boulevard [HYDC]
· Hudson Yards [official]
· Hudson Yards Reminds Us It Still Exists With New Renderings [Curbed]
· Hudson Yards coverage [Curbed]