The future Wagner Park will get a little greener as of yesterday

The same day that the Battery Park City Neighborhood Association held a “Save Wagner” party in the park, the Battery Park City Authority announced that it would green-up the current plan for the redesigned and elevated Wagner Park to add and additional 12,800 square feet of lawn — a 74 percent increase from the current plan.

The expanded lawn meant reducing some of the gardens as well as taking away 7,000 square feet of hardscape, the latter of which was originally included to ensure accessibility throughout the elevated portion of the park. Instead, part of the existing access walkway on the water side of the lawn will function as an accessible circulation element.

“We’d initially included as much garden space in the previous designs in accordance with community members’ requests at the time,” said BPCA spokesman Nick Sbordone, noting that the process has been six years long. “However, with this additional input we took another hard look and identified a way to add significant additional lawn space in part by reducing the amount of gardens, without impacting the project’s design excellence, universal accessibility, or timeline.”

The enhanced design will also provide for the addition of 10 more trees in the plan, for a total net increase of 126 trees. You can watch a fly-through animation of the old design, from June, below.

The neighborhood association, which staged its first protest when the authority planned to bulldoze part of the Rockefeller lawn for a hardscape memorial for victims of covid, said this is a step in the right direction, though it does nothing to address the idea that the park does not have to be rebuilt to begin with, which is one of their main contentions.

“Maximizing green spaces and the preservation of mature trees is critical to preventing and protecting from climate risk,” said Britni Erez. “We hope this is the start of a conversation where the BPCA gives the community and key stakeholders like the PTAs, school leaders, and other experts (scientists, designers, horticulturists, etc.) a seat at the table to create a design we can all love.”

The plans for Wagner, part of the South Battery Park City Resiliency Project designed to reduce flood risk, have been in the works since 2017, and are in their final stages after years of community meetings and review with Community Board 1. Demolition is scheduled to begin after Labor Day. Construction will last two years.

Recently, community members have also complained about the size of the new pavilion, which currently houses the bathrooms and Gigino’s southern location. But the BPCA said changing that now would delay the project, and that the footprint of the new building is a few square feet smaller than the current one. The existing pavilion’s footprint measures 8,090 square feet, compared to the proposed pavilion’s
footprint of 7,990 square feet. (The illustration below shows the rendering of the new building with an outline of the current one over it.)

“That said,” said Nick, “we do plan to continue dialogue with community regarding the programming of the space in the Pavilion.”



  1. Thank you, Tribeca Citizen, for covering this important story and helping to elevate the community’s voice!

  2. Their plan is to destroy New York – the New Babylon full of sins. The plan to rebuild the park of course has nothing to do with our safety (they always use this excuse to justify their evil plans). If they raise several shores of Manhattan island they’ll really create an ark/a bowl, which will keep the rain and cause more serious flood when they make those man-made artificial storms (oh yeah, they know how to do storms, they have technologies). I guess this is their plan. That’s why they already know there will be most serious storms soon. And they need to make sure the flood will look impressive on media – the whole world should see it.

  3. If they go ahead with ANY redesign, I predict it will totally screw over bicyclists who can now ride around the tip of manhattan. After 9-11 they stopped letting cyclists go under the ferry building as had been the case for decades. (What are they scared of?) Then the “greenway” bs moved cyclists from the Hudson next to a an eight lane highway, and gave us tickets for cycling by the water. So what’s next? You used to be able to bike around downtown and stay next to the water, but not anymore! This will no doubt remove one of the last nice places to bike in downtown manhattan.

  4. They just released the new dimensions on Tuesday. It still is a reduction in green space even though they are spinning it as an increase.