Battery Park City’s plans for the rebuilding of Rockefeller Park…and more

East-west esplanade behind Stuyvesant

Battery Park City Authority gave a presentation on its plans to reconstruction its waterfront areas from South Cove to the top of Rockefeller Park — as we know, construction on its southern most area, including Wagner Park, is under construction right now.

These plans, for what they call the North/West Battery Park City Resiliency Project, also include construction on the Westside Highway and Tribeca streets; see those plans here. This post is dedicated to Rockefeller Park and the areas south to the North Cove.

NB: The BPCA also wants to redo the corner of the park north of Stuyvesant High School, where their esplanade meets the Hudson River Park esplanade. That plan is still under discussion.

East-west esplanade behind Stuyvesant

To summarize in the most abbreviated form, this plan is mostly about walls. Some of the walls are disguised as planting beds, such as the ones that will run along the east/west esplanade behind Stuy. Some are just plain walls, like the 8-footers that will run along the eastern side of the “forest” area in the South Cove. I do hope there is a more sophisticated discussion about materials. So far, they look like pre-cast concrete, but with no brutalist flare. Stone would seem the most appropriate to me, matching the current BPC retaining walls.

Luckily they have chosen an option for Rockefeller that will have the lightest touch, with few changes to the existing lawns and playground, and all existing trees remaining and some new trees added. The north-facing esplanade will be significantly different, with new seating areas and raised planting beds.

Construction will start after Wagner is finished, which is predicted to be summer 2025. To complete all sections of the North/West Project — including Rockefeller, North Cove, Tribeca streets, and the neighborhoods north and south of the marina —¬† will take five years, so from 2025 to 2030.

South Cove plan

The BPCA plans to roll the construction phases out gradually over those five years:

  • Year one will include the construction on N. Moore and the esplanade behind Stuy; those areas will take three years or more to reopen.
  • In the middle of year two, they will start on the North Cove.
  • Construction will start on the Rockefeller fields and playground in year four and five, and that should take a year total.

During construction, Battery Park City’s inland parks will be open, and Rockefeller will be open until year four. (For some reason, they wanted to note on their presentation that Washington Market Park and Hudson River Park will also be open during that time…)

The next chance to comment will be on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, scheduled for this coming September. And if you want to flip through the presentation yourself, find it here by scrolling down, clicking on “Community Engagement Videos and Presentations,” and then click on the June 20, 2024: Community Meeting Presentation, or watch it below.

North Cove looking towards Wintergarden

South Cove esplanade near forest

North Cove aerial

North Cove plan

Esplanade near ferry terminal

Playground plan

Looking west from River Terrace over Rockefeller lawn

Rockefeller Park plan

 

2 Comments

  1. Ohhh boy, I know this needs to be done..but.
    I don’t see them reusing the beautiful slate that is there now. what is shown are premade cement pavers…. I also feel all the materials look inexpensive.
    what about all the trees that are full grown all along the river? are they saved or replaced?

  2. Good point. If the experiential values from this master plan can be adaptively reused the project will break barriers needed in development right now.

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