Manhattan Gets A Beach: An Early Glimpse Of The New Park Coming To Gansevoort Peninsula
Way back in another century (colloquially known as 1998), Governor George E. Pataki maligned the state of Manhattan‘s western waterfront and signed legislation establishing a park running between Battery Park City to 59th Street, including a “4.5-mile waterfront esplanade.” At the time, the NY Times reported that Pataki—speaking at a signing ceremony at Pier 25—“received sustained applause when he promised that the park would include a beach at Gansevoort Peninsula in Greenwich Village.”
It only took 21 years—and three subsequent governors—but Pataki’s seaside dreams might finally be realized. Earlier this year, we learned that the Gansevoort Peninsula in Hudson River Park (which was previously host to a Department of Sanitation building) was being converted into a 5.5-acre public park, including a sandy beach.
Now we’ve got an early glimpse of what that might look like, thanks to preliminary renderings unveiled by the Hudson River Park Trust (and first reported by Curbed). The park is currently being designed by the landscape architecture firm James Corner Field Operations, which is known for its work on the High Line in Manhattan and Fresh Kills Park on Staten Island. There’s a lot of idyllic green space of the sort not usually associated with Manhattan, areas for lounging on sand, sports fields, a salt marsh, and of course the water itself.
Unfortunately, that water will not be open to swimmers, albeit for good reason: According to the NY Post, “the Citizens Water Quality Testing Program routinely finds ‘unacceptable’ levels of fecal bacteria in the water off the West Side.” On the bright side, there will be kayak access, for those who enjoy kayaking on fecal matter. And a post by one of the Hudson River Park Trust board members notes that there will also be “a dog run [and] a U-13 turf soccer field and baseball field.”
Above, some images of what area could look like. All this will be located along what used to be the ill-fated 13th Avenue, between Gansevoort Street and Little West 12th Street, along the western edge of the Meatpacking District. And no, you can’t enjoy it during this summer’s heat wave—construction of the park won’t begin until 2020 and is not expected to be completed until around 2022.