Reimagined Shoreline Instills Neighborhood Pride 
{"autoplay":"true","autoplay_speed":"3000","speed":"300","arrows":"true","dots":"false","loop":"true","nav_slide_column":5,"rtl":"false"}

DETAILS

LocationLong Island City,, New York United States
ClientQueens West Development Corporation
Size6 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.

Related Projects

Virtual Circle

One of the most dangerous intersections at the gateway into downtown Washington DC was targeted for significant improvement. Prompted by the demolition of a Wendy’s restaurant and new road alignments to ease traffic congestion, SWA/Balsley was hired to create a memorable new gateway experience and usable, inviting parks in the newly acquired public land. The t...

Portsmouth Square

Portsmouth Square is the heart of San Francisco’s Chinatown: the main civic park for all community festivals and events as well as an important day-to-day outdoor living room for the community. Centered in the densest community in the United States west of the Hudson River, the park plays a critical role in the health and well-being of the local residents, ove...

Fort Wayne Riverfront

As a city that was built and thrived because of its location as a crossroads between wilderness and city, farm and market, the realities of infrastructure both natural and man-made are at the heart of Fort Wayne’s history. We consider waterways as an integral part of open spaces of the City, forming a series of infrastructural systems that affect the dynamics ...

Tunica River Park

In 1990 the Mississippi Legislature legalized gaming as a job and tax creation strategy. Tunica, located at the northern border of the state near Memphis, Tennessee, was the first county to adopt gaming as an economic development strategy and implemented a program of rapid growth. The first casino was completed in 1992 and eight more were opened during the nex...

Baton Rouge Lakes

The 275-acre Baton Rouges Lakes system is a series of six lakes in central Baton Rouge adjacent to Louisiana State University, three major parks, and a diverse mix of neighborhoods. Recognizing opportunity in crisis, a newly funded master plan provides sound ecological restoration methods that will heal a dying lake system while reconnecting the region to its ...

China Beach

China Beach acts as an amphitheater to take in the drama of the San Francisco Golden Gate: the ebb and flow of the wildlife, currents, tides, winds, fog, sun, surf, and marine traffic. Ultimately, this larger landscape and the landscape features of a refreshed beach terrace will be the defining experience for the visitor to China Beach. We are striving to prod...

Tunica River Park

In 1990 the Mississippi Legislature legalized gaming as a job and tax creation strategy. Tunica, located at the northern border of the state near Memphis, Tennessee, was the first county to adopt gaming as an economic development strategy and implemented a program of rapid growth. The first casino was completed in 1992 and eight more were opened during the nex...

Palisades Park

Santa Monica’s famous pier area draws visitors who often disregard pavement boundaries and compact the landscape soil. Palisades Park, adjacent to the iconic pier, is a particularly active site for cyclists and tourists that has long been in need of a planting strategy to discourage pedestrian overflow into the landscape. SWA’s defensive planting strategy tack...