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!

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