Reimagined Shoreline Instills Neighborhood Pride 
{"autoplay":"true","autoplay_speed":"8000","speed":"1000","arrows":"true","dots":"false","loop":"true","nav_slide_column":5,"rtl":"false"}
{"autoplay":"true","autoplay_speed":"8000","speed":"1000","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

The Camellias Garden

The Camellias Garden is inspired by the verdant green gardens of India and the petals of one of Asia’s most beautiful and vibrant native plant species: the camellia flower. These blooms’ flowing curves and lines are interpreted within the Garden’s design, drawing residents of these 16 luxury apartment towers out into the landscape and offering the sense of bei...

SIPG Harbor City Parks

This new riverfront development is located on the Yangtze River in the Baoshan District of Shanghai. This area boasts some of the highest shipping activity in the world. However, in recent years this single-function industrial zone has given way, allowing for waterfront parks to develop. Within this historically layered water front the Baoshan Park and Open Sp...

Ricardo Lara Park

Ricardo Lara Park is a vibrant city park and a case study in landscape infrastructure.  It demonstrates how a small investment and creative thinking about landscape can transform the very infrastructure that has long divided and isolated a community into an amenity that unites it, offering much-needed environmental and recreational benefits.

Here, more ...

San Jacinto Plaza

SWA’s redesign of San Jacinto Plaza, a historic gathering place in El Paso’s downtown business district provides a state-of-the-art urban open space, while protecting and celebrating the history and culture of the site. The project was the result of an intensive community process involving input from a wide range of constituents. Active programming, environmen...

Jin Hai Wan Riverfront Park

Located along Chongqing’s Jialing River, this new linear public park offered unique challenges: a 30-meter annual river fluctuation, steep topography, and low-impact maintenance of a continuous riparian corridor. Adjacent new urban development, with attendant needs for green space, called for a flexible and resilient approach to the park’s landscape and infras...

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...

Shenzhen Bay

Situated just across the bay from Hong Kong, the city of Shenzhen has transformed from a small fishing town of 30,000 to a booming city of over 10 million people in 40 years – and has grown over 200 times its original size since 1980. Along the way, the character of Shenzhen’s bayfront was radically altered. Over 65 km2 of marsh and shallow bay were filled to ...

Dallas Arboretum: A Tasteful Place

A year-round “food oasis” awaits visitors at A Tasteful Place, a new edible/display garden within the Dallas Arboretum. A continuation of SWA’s Arboretum work (which includes Red Maple Rill and the Children’s Garden), A Tasteful Place provides visual and hands-on education about plants and herbs that can be used in visitors’ daily cooking and explored in...