First Look: The World Trade Center Park

The New York Times got a rendering of Liberty Park, the elevated park coming to the World Trade Center site. (It gets a bit bigger if you click on it.)

Apparently, the rendering’s release is partially my fault. Remember those renderings for Santiago Calatrava’s new St. Nicholas Church that I posted? “The renderings, at least those shown in The TriBeCa Citizen,”—watch those caps, buster!—”included what authority officials said were outdated features. For instance, ‘Sphere,’ commissioned for the original World Trade Center, was shown just outside the church entrance. The authority’s executive director, Patrick J. Foye, said in 2012 that he favored placing ‘Sphere’ on the memorial plaza, but there has been no movement since then to relocate it. However, the renderings were accurate enough that the authority opened up a bit last week and elaborated on the park. The principal designer is Joseph E. Brown, a landscape architect who is the chief innovation officer at Aecom, an architectural, engineering and construction consultancy with headquarters in Los Angeles.”

Fact sheet:

••• It’s just over an acre, and it’ll be 25 feet above Liberty St.

••• It’s “meant to offer a pleasant and accessible east-west crossing between the financial district and Battery Park City; to create a landscaped forecourt for the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church; to provide a gathering space for as many as 750 people at a time; to allow visitors to contemplate the whole memorial in a single sweeping glance from treetop level; and to serve as the roof of the trade center’s vehicle security center.”

••• There “will be a ‘living wall’ along the Liberty Street facade—essentially a vertical landscape, roughly 300 feet long and more than 20 feet high, made of periwinkle, Japanese spurge, winter creeper, sedge and Baltic ivy.”

••• “Walkways from the pedestrian bridge will meander among islands of plantings to stairways at three corners of the bulkhead. There will also be a fairly straight inclined path down to Greenwich Street.”

••• Expect “a continuous overlook along much of Liberty Street, as well as a gently curving balcony near the base of the church.

••• “A monumental staircase paralleling Greenwich Street, directly behind the church, is intended to be as inviting as the steps of the Metropolitan Museum [and] there will be wood benches on the seating tiers. There will also be a small amphitheaterlike elevated space at the opposite end of the park.”

••• There’s a caveat about how the details might change. “Authority officials expect that progress will be visible on the park’s contours by early next year. They estimated that the park will cost $50 million.”

Can we agree the name needs work? Any suggestions?

Update: Comments have been turned off due to spam. To have them turned back on, email



  1. I’m glad this has finally been revealed. I’ve been watching the construction from my window and I have had no idea what the heck they were building. This is a much nicer surprise than what I had been dreading(bus depot, tourist cattle pen, security center).

  2. Love it! A great addition to the WTC site!

  3. The park looks lovely. The name, Liberty Park, seems inevitable, since the name of the street coincides with the feel-good bromidic concept people want to cling to. To paraphrase George Clooney in “Gravity”, at some point we’ll learn to let go.

  4. I don’t understand why they have to elevate the Greek Mosque?!! Are they trying to imply that Greek Islam is the one true religion?!! Or was it a high-level conspiracy so that they have a better vantage point to indoctrinate the throngs of tourists?!!

  5. Sorry about the capitalization. It’s Times style.

  6. @David: Shouldn’t my company’s proper-noun name trump that? Never mind. Cite and link and I’ll forgive everything. Plus, I’ve spent much of my career surrounded by copy editors

  7. >>Can we agree the name needs work? Any suggestions?

    Highline South?

  8. The park looks very nice; a lot better without the Sphere cluttering the site. That only structure of the WTC to survive the attacks deserves to be placed as part of the Memorial Plaza! Why not? Best place for it!

    Also, Liberty Plaza is the perfect name (it stands over Liberty St). Especially because it stands beside “Ground Zero.”