Gantry Plaza State Park
Show Project Info Back
Reimagined Shoreline Instills Neighborhood Pride
Location Long Island City, New York, New York, United States
Client Queens West Development Corporation
Scope Landscape Architecture
Size 6 acres
Once a working waterfront teeming with barges, tugboats, and rail cars, the Hunter’s Point shoreline slowly succumbed to the realities of the Post-Industrial Age and this spectacular site was left to deteriorate. Thomas Balsley Associates, together with Weintraub di Domenico, envisioned Gantry Plaza State Park as a place that celebrates its past, future, skyline views and the river. The Promontory is a great lawn with a natural shoreline edge that takes advantage of the Manhattan skyline; in North Gantry Plaza, the skyline is framed by restored gantries—gigantic structures that once transferred railcars onto rail barges; framed by tree-shaded cafes, a fog fountain and game tables, the plaza accommodates 30,000 viewers for the 4th of July fireworks; South Gantry Interpretive Garden is a contemplative space formed by two paths; here, stepping-stone blocks provide the visitor with direct access to the water and look as if they had been abandoned only yesterday. Peninsula Park offers a great lawn promontory with a natural shoreline edge. It is enhanced with willow trees and natural grasses and encourages a wide variety of passive activities. This extraordinary site was blessed with a diverse shoreline and an intact light industrial/blue collar residential neighborhood whose diversity inspired its design. This place helps to heal a once-divided community and instill in it a strong sense of neighborhood spirit and pride. The Friends of Gantry Plaza State Park alliance, formed to protect the park, testifies to the power of this place.