Take a Look at Slide Hill

Construction on The Hills project is continuing at a rapid pace. In January we showcased Grassy Hill’s rise to the top, but today we present to you Slide Hill!

Building Slide Hill. Image courtesy of the Trust.

Building Slide Hill. Image courtesy of the Trust.

Already built to an impressive height of 23 ft, Slide Hill will eventually reach 38 feet above the Liberty Promenade. With four slides of various heights along its slope, Slide Hill will be a center for activity and play. The longest slide, for the thrill seeking visitor, will be 48 feet long! There will also be wider and shorter slides for families and young children.

Slide Hill will offer an exciting complement to the tranquility of the adjacent Grassy Hill and Discovery Hill.

For now though, the bulldozers are hard at work

Rendering of Slide Hill. Image courtesy of the Trust.

Rendering of Slide Hill. Image courtesy of West 8.

Field Report: Seawall Reimagined

The 2.2 mile rehabilitation of the Governors Island seawall is well underway. Major and minor efforts are ensuring that this critical part of the Island stays in place and does its job keeping the Island together. At the south end of the Island, work on a revetment to replace the original seawall is complete. The revetment is a sloped stone abutment which is better than a stone wall at handling the heavy wave action from the harbor, and will be easier to maintain over the years.  In the north of the Island, the original seawall is being supported and repaired as needed to breath new life into this 120+ year old structure.

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Seen here from Lima Pier, the revetment at the island’s southern tip is already doing its job. Image courtesy of the Trust.

22+50 facing south REVETMENT 100%

Closer view of the revetment. Image courtesy of The Trust.

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In the historic district, the original seawall is left in place and backed by an impressive concrete wall providing stability for years to come. Image courtesy of The Trust.

Field Report: Water on the Way

Governors Island continues its work to introduce potable water in 2014! The work to bring this tasty beverage to GI began last summer and is making great headway. After the tunnel was drilled under the Buttermilk Channel from Brooklyn, 2,340 feet of brand new pipe was snaked through to connect us to our NYC water supply.

A host of diggers team up to help feed the new water pipe through the carrier from GI back to Brooklyn. It only took a day to feed all ~1/2 mile of pipe through! Image courtesy of The Trust.

A host of diggers team up to help feed the new water pipe through the carrier from GI back to Brooklyn. It only took a day to feed all ~1/2 mile of pipe through! Image courtesy of The Trust.

We have also begun t0 lay the miles of pipe needed to connect the potable water to buildings on Governors Island.

This is the conductor pipe in Brooklyn which helped guide the drill through the bedrock under the Buttermilk Channel to the island. Image Courtesy of the Trust.

This is the conductor pipe in Brooklyn which helped guide the drill through the bedrock under the Buttermilk Channel to the island. Image Courtesy of the Trust.

Governors Island in 2013

What a year at Governors Island! We had major construction progress on the southern portion of the Island and a summer public season packed with people, programming, and events. As we work towards building more park space and extending our summer season to 7 days a week, here are 5 of our important moments in 2013.

Implosion of Building 877

June 9th began with a BOOM! The implosion of Building 877 was a major milestone towards completing our new 30 acres of park space. Also, fun fact, it was the largest building to be demolished in the last ten years in all of New York City. We shared a live stream of the event at the time, but you can relive the experience right here.

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Kaboom! Image by Timothy Schneck, courtesy of the Trust.

400,000 Visitors!

Thank you all! The tremendous support of the almost 400,000 people who visited the Island this year is what brings Governors Island alive. We had lots of visitors, some with families and many with bikes,  coming from both the Brooklyn and Manhattan ferry stations. Can’t wait to see you in May, when Governors Island will be open seven days a week.

Courtesy of The Trust.

Opening Weekend 2013. Image courtesy of The Trust.

Summer Programming

The 2013 season saw great old and new programming partners and delicious food vendors on Governors Island! Perhaps the season’s most exciting new edition was  the vintage French carnival that graced the island every weekend. Fete Paradisio brought live music, food vendors, and vintage carnival rides to create a true carnival experience right in Nolan Park.  Oh, and it came complete with a kissing booth.

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The Dragon! Image courtesy of Fete Paradisio.

Ground Breaking on the Hills

Mayor Bloomberg presided over the groundbreaking for The Hills project, the next phase of the Governors Island Park and Public Space Masterplan, this July. The Hills will be located on the southern end of the Island and feature four hills of varying heights of up to 80 feet in the air! This vantage point will be smack in the center of the New York Harbor and offer extraordinary views of the Statue of Liberty and Lower Manhattan. Click here to see how it will look.

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Image courtesy of the Mayors Office.

Final Tree Planting in the First Phase of the New Park 

On November 11, Mayor Bloomberg visited the Island again for a Final Tree Planting, a ceremony that signaled the completion of the first  30 acres of new park on Governors Island. Visitors that day had the opportunity to view the ball fields, enjoy the play structures, stroll through the newly planted trees. and relax in Hammock Grove. The park will be open seven days a week during the expanded access season beginning this May!

Courtesy of the Trust.

Image courtesy of the Trust.

Mayor Bloomberg Announces Completion of First Phase of New Governors Island Park and Plants 800,000th Tree as part of MillionTreesNYC

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg yesterday planted the final tree of the new park in Liggett Terrace, marking the completion of the first phase of park on Governors Island. The tree was also the 800,000th tree in the MillionTreesNYC initiative.

Tree Planting Ceremony

From left to right: First Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris, Trust for Governors Island Board Member Catherine Hughes, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Dept. of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Veronica M. White, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Trust for Governors Island President Leslie Koch and Chair Ronay Menschel, and (last but not least) @Birdie_NYC.

The Mayor made the announcement on Governors Island on Thursday morning where he was joined by First Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris, Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Veronica M. White, Trust for Governors Island Chair Ronay Menschel and President Leslie Koch, State Senator Daniel Squadron, landscape architect Adriaan Geuze of West 8, and a wide range of civic organizations, advocacy groups, Harbor School students, Island programming organizations and others to celebrate the milestones.

“At the beginning of our Administration, Governors Island was little more than an abandoned and neglected green space with derelict buildings,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Twelve years later, Governors Island has become a major attraction for New Yorkers and visitors, as its 172 acres continue to grow more dynamic, more resilient and more beautiful each day. Today marks another important step forward for the Island, and the 800,000th tree of our MillionTreesNYC program could not have a better home, where it will be part of this spectacular new park that will open next spring.”

The new 30 acres of park include Liggett Terrace, a sunny, six-acre plaza with seasonal plantings, seating, water features and public art; Hammock Grove, a ten-acre forested space that is home to 1,500 new trees, play areas and 50 hammocks; and the Play Lawn, 14 acres for play and relaxation that includes two natural turf ball fields sized for adult softball and Little League baseball.  In addition, new welcome areas have been added at the Island’s ferry landings, as have key visitor amenities, including lighting, seating and signage throughout the Historic District. The Island and the new park spaces will open to the public in May of 2014.

View of Liggett Terrace

Liggett Terrace is a sunny, six acre plaza with seasonal plantings, seating, water features, and public art. Photo: Timothy Schenck Photography courtesy of The Trust for Governors Island.

Visitors to Hammock Grove can relax in one of its fifty hammocks, and enjoy spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor. Photo: Timothy Schenck Photography courtesy of The Trust for Governors Island.

Visitors to Hammock Grove can relax in one of its fifty hammocks, and enjoy spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor. Photo: Timothy Schenck Photography courtesy of The Trust for Governors Island.

This past July, Mayor Bloomberg broke ground on The Hills, an additional 10 acres that are the culminating feature of the new Governors Island Park. Made of recycled construction and fill materials, The Hills will rise 25 to 80 feet above the Island, and the summit of the tallest Hill will provide visitors with a 360-degree panorama of the Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor and the Lower Manhattan skyline. The Hills are currently under construction with the goal of completion in 2015.

The new park is designed by West 8, an internationally acclaimed firm based in Rotterdam that has designed award-winning parks around the world. West 8 was selected in May 2007 after an international design competition. The full Governors Island Park and Public Space Master Plan is available at www.govislandpark.com.

Yesterday’s announcement is just the most recent development in Governors Island’s transformation. The Island has become a popular public destination in recent years, with close to 400,000 visitors during the 2013 season, compared to a mere 26,000 visitors as recently as 2006. Dozens of cultural and recreational organizations have taken advantage of the Island’s historic buildings and green spaces to present lively free programs to the public.

Thursday morning’s tree planting ceremony drew a crowd of 450 visitors, many of whom played a role in bringing the new park to life.  After the ceremony, visitors were invited to explore the new park spaces and enjoy the brisk yet sunny November morning on Governors Island.

To see spectacular photographs of the recently completed park spaces, visit the Governors Island Flickr stream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/govisland/sets/72157637663966654/.

Tree Planting Ceremony

An enthusiastic crowd of 450 people ventured out to Governors Island for the tree planting ceremony in Liggett Terrace.

Let the Countdown Begin! Final Tree to be Planted Next Week

Next Thursday, November 14, the Trust will host New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and special guests to plant the final tree in Liggett Terrace, marking the completion this month of the first 30 acres of new park on Governors Island. This ceremony represents a major milestone in the transformation of Governors Island.

Hammock Grove looking toward Lower Manhattan / Photo: Trust for Governors Island

Hammock Grove looking toward Lower Manhattan / Photo: Trust for Governors Island

Designed by acclaimed landscape architecture firm West 8, the new park spaces include Liggett Terrace, a sunny, six acre plaza with seasonal plantings, seating, water features and public art; Hammock Grove, a shady ten acre space that is home to 1,500 new trees, play areas and hammocks; and the Play Lawn, 14 acres for play and relaxation that includes two grass ball fields sized for adult softball and Little League baseball.

Plantings will mature through the spring and the Island and new park spaces will open to the public on Memorial Day Weekend 2014.  We’ll be posting daily photos on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts over the next seven days to capture the exciting final touches and to provide a glimpse of what’s to come next summer. Be sure to follow us if you don’t already!

Meanwhile The Hills, which are the next phase of the park, are already rising with the goal of opening Outlook Hill in 2015. Visit the Governors Island YouTube channel to see a visualization of the Hills rising and the amazing view from the top!

Preview the New Governors Island Park!

See the hedge maze under construction, newly planted trees and paths as a part of Park Preview weekend!

See the hedge maze under construction, newly planted trees, and asphalt paths and so much more as a part of Park Preview weekend!

You are invited to preview the new Governors Island Park on September 28 and 29!

Visitors can walk on their own or take a guided tour to see the transformation of acres of landfill into an incredible park.  The construction site will be open for one weekend only. Leading civic organizations including Community Board 1 in Manhattan, Community Board 2 in Brooklyn, the Governors Island Alliance, Transportation Alternatives, the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, New Yorkers for Parks, the Alliance for Downtown New York and the American Society for Landscape Architects’ New York Chapter join The Trust in celebrating Park Preview weekend. The park construction site will be open from 12 PM to 6 PM both days.

Visitors to the construction site will see the hedge maze in Liggett Terrace taking shape, walk on newly laid asphalt paths, sit on curb and seat edges, see new trees that have been planted and head to the highest point in Hammock Grove to experience a breathtaking view of the Statue of Liberty and Harbor. In the distance, the Play Lawn and ball fields are taking shape and the Hills are beginning to rise. Made of recycled construction and fill materials, The Hills will eventually rise 25 to 80 feet above the Island, and the summit of the tallest Hill will provide visitors with a 360-degree panorama of Staten Island, Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Visitors can enter the park construction site at the Liggett Hall Arch. The site will be open from Noon to 6 PM on September 28 and 29. Guided tours will leave from the Arch as well at 1:30 and 3:30 PM on Saturday and Sunday. Registration in advance is not required. More information about guided tours are as follows:

Saturday 9/28, 1:30-2:15pm

Superstorm Sandy Success Stories: Designing a Resilient Park

Led by The Trust for Governors Island

Saturday 9/28, 3:30-4:15pm

Park Horticulture

Led by Annette Wilkus, Siteworks

Sunday 9/29,1:30-2:15pm

Park Horticulture

Led by Will Hart, Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects

Sunday, 9/29, 3:30-4:15pm

Superstorm Sandy Success Stories: Designing a Resilient Park

Led by Jamie Maslyn, West 8

We also invite you to post pictures of your visit to the site  on Twitter (@gov_island) Facebook (Governors Island), Flickr (GovernorsIslandgroup) and Instagram (@governorsisland).

Governors Island closes to the public at 7 PM on Sunday, September 29.

Don’t miss this chance to see the park in progress for yourself!

Field Report: Land, Ho! Bringing Potable Water to Governors Island

At approximately 11:00AM last Wednesday, our drilling contractor broke ground on Governors Island… except they did it from the ground up!

Horizontal Directional Drill

Land, ho! Our horizontal directional drill made landfall on the Island on Wednesday 9/4/13.

Is that a submarine poking out in front of the old commissary? No, it’s a horizontal directional drill seeing daylight for the first time in weeks after burrowing underneath the Harbor, all the way from Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Not sure what horizontal directional drilling is? We found this very cool informational video about the technology:

This “peek-a-boo” moment marks an exciting milestone in our effort to restore potable water to Governors Island.  By the end of this year, over 2300 linear feet of new water pipe will be installed beneath the Buttermilk Channel.  In 2014, our dedicated crew will continue to expand the potable water network throughout the north portion of the Island, as well as to the newly constructed park and public space. There’s more work to be done, but we are on schedule to ensure that potable water is fully restored by the end of next year. Future tenants and visitors can look forward to taking a sip of delicious Brooklyn water!

This Weekend on Governors Island: African Film Festival, Plus Mayor Bloomberg Breaks Ground on The Hills!

Courtesy African Film Festival, Inc.

Courtesy African Film Festival, Inc.

This weekend, August 3 – 4, kicks off a new month of summer fun on Governors Island with cultural events and hands-on experiences for all ages! 

This Sunday, the African Film Festival celebrates Family Day on Governors Island by sharing an up-close and personal introduction to the culture of the African continent. Join us on Colonel’s Row from 12 pm to 5 pm for a great selection of rich and vibrant cultural activities for kids and adults alike, including free films, African dance classes, storytelling, and African cuisine.

Rendering Courtesy West 8

Rendering Courtesy West 8

Governors Island also made headlines last week when Mayor Bloomberg officially broke ground for The Hills, a new phase of the new park and open space plan that will highlight the transformed South Island. Ranging up to 80 feet in height with panoramic views of New York Harbor, the spectacular renderings of The Hills by West 8 are generating excitement around New York. Looking to the right from the viewing platform underneath Liggett Arch offers a glimpse at where The Hills will stand, just remember to say hello to the Statue of Liberty! With so much planned for the future of Governors Island, there’s plenty to look forward to even beyond this weekend’s attractions.

Remember, the East River Ferry is a great way to get from Queens, Brooklyn, and Midtown to Governors Island. Check the full schedule to plan your next trip!

Haven’t been out to Governors Island yet this summer? This is the perfect weekend to check out some of our unique ongoing exhibits. Fête Paradiso in Nolan Park, the FIGMENT tree house and artist-made minigolf on the Parade Ground, and LMCC’s exhibits in Building 110, just to name a few.

Other Events This Weekend Include:

  • Fête Paradiso, 10:30 am to 6:30 pm, Nolan Park: For the first time in the US, a spectacular collection of vintage French carnival rides is open to the public here on Governors Island! The Parisian experience is free to visitors both young and old at this magnifique fairground festivalcomplete with French music and cuisine!
  • Better Than Jam Handmade Gifts Shop, 11 am to 6 pm, Nolan Park, Building 16: The Brooklyn boutique of all locally handmade products brings the creations of New York City’s most talented artists and crafters to the beautiful and historic houses of Nolan Park. This weekend, the crafting gets creative at a free workshop of collage card making with Astrodub on Saturday from 1 pm to 4 pm!
  • The Skate Truck NYC, 11 am to 6 pm, Buoy Parking Lot: The Skate Truck NYC provides roller-skating equipment, helmets, and safety equipment to skaters of any age. Skate for fun. Skate for health. Skate for life!
  • Earth Matter’s Compost at the Outpost, Building 12: Stop by the South Battery for a fun, free, and hands-on eco-experience! Meet our composting buddies: the goats, chickens, and worms that help us recycle food scraps into “black gold.” (They love picnic leftovers!)
  • Children’s Museum of the Arts, Saturday and Sunday, 11 am to 3pm, Nolan Park: Come to Nolan Park for the Children’s Museum of the Arts’ Free Art Island Outpost.
  • Pop-up Library and Outdoor Reading Room, Saturday and Sunday, 12 pm to 6 pm: Settle in with a good book at the pop-up library and outdoor reading room presented by the Brooklyn, Queens andNY public libraries.
  • FIGMENT Summer-Long Installations, Saturday and Sunday, 12 pm to 5:30 pm, Parade Ground: All weekend enjoy the interactive Sculpture Garden, artist-designed Minigolf Course, City of Dreams Pavilion, and the Treehouse in the the Parade Grounds.
  • Free Kayaking, Saturday, 10 am to 3 pm, Pier 101: Brought to you by the Downtown Boathouse, enjoy some fun time out on the water with this summery activity featuring beautiful views of New York Harbor!
  • WWII & NYC: Photography and Propaganda, 10 am to 6:30 pm, Building 18: Through hands-on activities and moving photos, this exhibition, presented by the New York Historical Society, paints a vivid picture of life in war-mobilized New York, when virtually every industry, institution, and home was transformed into a venture to support Allied victory.
  • Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Presents Building 110: LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island, 11 am to 5 pm, Building 110: LMCC and its artists-in-residence welcome audiences to Building 110′s Gallery and their studios. Discover new artists, engage in the artistic process, and simply enjoy the art in this stunning setting this summer. LMCC is also the lead presenter of the River to River Festival, a four-week, multidisciplinary arts festival throughout Lower Manhattan.
  • Bike Governors Island, 10 am to 6 pm, Colonels Row and Yankee Pier Landing: Experience miles of car-free biking with a set of rented wheels fit just for you. Bike and Roll has bikes for all sizes and abilities, including kids’ bikes, kids’ trailers, and four-seater quadcycles.

Get the full list of Governors Island exhibits and programs on our website. Looking forward to seeing you on the Island!

Mayor Bloomberg Announces Groundbreaking for The Hills

Rendering Courtesy West 8

Rendering Courtesy West 8

Today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg held a press conference on Governors Island to break ground on The Hills, an exciting new phase in the Island’s transformation.  Made possible by $36 million in private funds, including a $15 million donation from Wendy and Eric Schmidt, The Hills are an extraordinary addition to the 30 acres of new park and public spaces currently under construction.

Set to open in 2015, the four hills will cover 11 acres of the South Island and range from 28 to 82 feet in height.  They will be positioned alongside other new aspects of the park also under construction, including play lawns, gardens and forests.  This engaging topographic feature will not only provide New Yorkers with a unique environmental experience, but also produce panoramic views of New York Harbor.  Unmatched perspectives of Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island and the Statue of Liberty will all be within the sight lights formed from this new landscape.

West 8, the firm responsible for designing the transformation of the Island, balanced form and function as priorities in the creation of the Hills.  In addition to the aesthetic appeal of the new feature, the raised elevation will also protect the Island’s vegetation against the threat of rising sea levels.  The Hills will also be accessible to visitors of all ages, with areas to slide, climb, rest, and play.  With over $250 million invested in the transformation and improvement of the Island’s infrastructure, The Hills represent Governors Island’s mission to offer opportunities for New Yorkers to interact with their inspiring surroundings.  “The construction of these incredible Hills will continue the transformation of Governors Island,” said Mayor Bloomberg, “and will create a landmark in New York Harbor that will be enjoyed for generations to come.”

High-resolution renderings and animation available for further information.

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