Designer picked for park (with beach) at Gansevoort

Gansevoort Peninsula, on the Village waterfront between Gansevoort and Little W. 12th Sts., is finally set to be redeveloped into a park. Photo by Max Guliani, courtesy Hudson River Park Trust

BY GABE HERMAN | Updated Sat., Feb. 2, 7 p.m.: On Thurs., Jan. 31, the Hudson River Park Trust’s board of directors selected the landscape architecture firm James Corner Field Operations to design a park on Gansevoort Peninsula, a 5.5-acre open space just west of the Whitney Museum.

The public park will be the biggest green space in the 4.5-mile-long Hudson River Park, according to the Trust. Construction is planned to start in 2020, with the park on Gansevoort opening in 2022. It will be a $60 million project.

Features of the park will include a “resilient beachfront” along the peninsula’s southern edge, which will serve as a barrier against storm surges and flooding. Unfortunately for summer beachgoers and those in the Polar Bear Club, the beach will probably not include access for swimming. It will, however, be used for educational programs by the Estuary Lab, which holds many classes and events and had 30,000 participants just last year.

Madelyn Wils, president and C.E.O. of the Trust, said Gansevoort’s design will be on caliber with that of the rest of the park, which last year celebrated its 20th anniversary.

“I’m pleased that the exceptional design firm James Corner Field Operations will join the ranks of the talented teams that have helped make Hudson River Park one of the great waterfront parks in the country,” she said.

James Corner, founding partner and C.E.O. of the firm, said, “We are thrilled to be selected to work with H.R.P.T. and the surrounding community to create a design for Gansevoort Peninsula — an incredible site that will integrate art, nature and recreation to become a signature gathering place for New Yorkers.”

Corner’s firm has also worked on other high-profile projects in the city, including the High Line and Domino Park in Brooklyn.

Gansevoort Peninsula’s beach area is also earmarked to include an art piece sponsored by the Whitney that will partially sit in the water. Called “Day’s End,” by local artist David Hammons, the piece “will outline the original Pier 52 shed at its original location and be one of the country’s largest public art installations,” according to the Whitney. The concept has also been likened to a “ghost pier.”

The Trust and the architectural firm plan to get feedback on the designs for Gansevoort from local officials and Community Board 2, along with hosting workshops to hear from community members, before final designs are made.

Correction: The original version of this article misstated the cost of developing a park on Gansevoort Peninsula. The correct cost is $60 million.

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