This Weekend on Governors Island: New York Poetry Festival, NYSCI Designing for Flight, Construction Tours, and More!

Courtesy The Poetry Society of New York

Courtesy The Poetry Society of New York

This weekend (July 27-28) features a diverse array of offerings on Governors Island to satisfy even the most artistic, inventive, and curious minds!  

We are excited to welcome back The Poetry Society of New York for the third annual New York Poetry Festival!  This two-day celebration of NYC’s vibrant poetry community includes over 50 poetry organizations and 200 poets across three stages in historic Colonel’s Row. Visitors will be able to enjoy healthy and delicious food options, a beer garden, the Children’s Festival, and the Poetry Brothel  from 11am to 5pm this Saturday and Sunday.

On Sunday, it’s about to get scientific at Designing for Flight, an exhibit presented by the New York Hall of Science exploring some of the design and science involved in common and exciting forms of flight.  From 12pm to 4pm the Parade Ground becomes the Design Zone.  Bring your own kite (BYOK), enjoy demos by NYSCI Explainers, and experiment with making flying machines at this fun and informative event.

With so much happening on Governors Island, it’s hard to believe that even greater things are planned for the future.  This weekend’s offerings also include two opportunities at a fist-hand glimpse into the ongoing transformation of Governors Island with a Behind the Scenes Hard Hat Tour.  Come by Liggett Arch on July 27th at 11:30am andJuly 28th at 3pm to walk through the construction site of the 30 acres of new park and public spaces at the center of the Island. Children age 7 and above welcome. All attendees must wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes.

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!

Other Events This Weekend Include:

  • Fête Paradiso, 10:30am to 6:30pm, 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 festival complete with French music and cuisine!
  • Bike New York Classes, Sunday, 11am to 1pm, Buoy Parking Lot: Learn how to ride a bike for the first time or brush up on your basic biking skills with free Bike New York classes on Governors Island. Visit online for details and free pre-registration.
  • Vintage Baseball, Saturday, 12pm to 4pm, Parade Ground: See baseball played as it was at the turn of the last century! Visit the Parade Ground and enjoy America’s pastime the way it used to be played!
  • The Skate Truck NYC, 11am to 6pm, 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!
  • Children’s Museum of the Arts, Saturday & Sunday, 11am – 3pm, Nolan Park: Come to Nolan Park for the Children’s Museum of the Arts’ Free Art Island Outpost.
  • Pop-up Library & Outdoor Reading Room, Saturday & Sunday, 12pm – 6pm: Settle in with a good book at the pop-up library and outdoor reading room presented by the Brooklyn, Queens and NY public libraries.
  • FIGMENT Summer-Long Installations, Saturday & Sunday, 12pm – 5:30pm, 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.
  • Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Presents Building 110: LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island, 11am-5pm, Building 110: LMCC and its artists-in-residence welcome audience 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.
  • Better Than Jam Handmade Gifts Shop, 11am to 6pm, 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 with card making and stamping with S2 Stationery on the Island!

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

High Above the Harbor: Governors Island July 2013

Governors Island Aerial: July 2013

We have gorgeous new images of the construction progress on Governors Island. Construction on the 30 acres of glorious new park and public space designed by West 8. These are the first aerials taken since the emotional and exciting implosion of Building 877 to make room for new open open and stunning views of the Harbor and Statue of Liberty.

You can also view a time-lapse perspective of progress over the past few months.

Image courtesy Carlo Buscemi Imagery


Field Report: Water Feature Seating

This week, the Governors Island construction team took a field trip to check on the production and fabrication of the elliptical granite seating for the new water feature that will be installed in Liggett Terrace. Check out our slideshow below to see slabs of granite become comfy seats!

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Field Report: Foundations for Fountains

Fountain Foundations

Fountain Foundations

Construction on the 30 new acres of glorious park and public spaces on Governors Island continues apace! We have recently installed the foundations for three new fountains. The fountains are situated in the Liggett Terrace area of the new park at the center of Governors Island. The best part: the fountains will include water features designed for playing and sized for visitors big and small.

When completed, Liggett Terrace will be a sunny, six-acre plaza featuring moveable seating, public art, and food. Park designers West 8 drew inspiration from historical landscape gardens and hedges. Liggett Terrace will include a children’s hedge maze in addition to the fountains.

Liggett Terrace Rendering Courtesy West 8

Liggett Terrace Rendering Courtesy West 8

Watch 11-Story Building Implosion on Governors Island in your Pajamas

This YouTube stream is dark now, but starting at 7:20 am on Sunday, June 9, you will be able to view the implosion of Building 877 on Governors Island.  The implosion is scheduled for 7:36 AM – don’t miss it! You can also view it from points around the harbor!


The implosion of Building 877, the tallest non-historic building on Governors Island will  open up extraordinary views of the Statue of Liberty and create space for 30 acres of  new parks and public spaces.

Top 5 Places in NYC to Watch Sunday’s High-rise Implosion – Where Will YOU Be?

Building 877

Building 877

In order of AWESOME, here are our top five picks for places to watch us implode a derelict 11-story high-rise building on Governors Island to make way for the Island’s next chapters. We ‘re sure there are more! If you can see 877 now, you can see the implosion on Sunday.  Where will YOU be watching from?

The implosion will happen at 7:36 am on Sunday, June 9. If you’re not so much an early bird, you can view it live in your p.j.’s on on this blog or directly on YouTube.


5) The foot of Pioneer Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn
4) Brooklyn Bridge Pedestrian and Bike Path, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn
3) Liberty State Park, Jersey City, New Jersey
2) Battery Park Promenade, Lower Manhattan
1) 7:30 AM Staten Island-bound Staten Island Ferry

This Weekend: FIGMENT Festival and Where to See Building 877 Come Down




Come Out For Figment Weekend!

FIGMENT is back! Come out to the Island this Saturday and Sunday for artist designed miniature golf, the Tree House, the City of Dreams Pavilion and all of the incredible performances, music and art of FIGMENT. FIGMENT takes place all weekend, on both Saturday and Sunday. 


Building 877

Building 877

Where Will You Watch Building 877 Implode?

This Sunday, The Trust for Governors Island will implode Building 877, the Island’s largest non-historic building and you have many options to see it live!

The building will be imploded at precisely 7:36 AM and will open up extraordinary views of the Statue of Liberty and make space for 30 glorious acres of new park and public spaces.

Governors Island will be closed to the public during the implosion, but you can still watch the action in person. To see the building come down, head to the Battery or Liberty State Park, or better yet, take a ride on the 7:30 AM Staten Island Ferry from lower Manhattan. Barring any changes in schedule, those travelling on the ferry will get a great view of the event.  For those of you who prefer to watch the excitement in your pajamas, we will be livestreaming this major milestone.

The Trust wants to see what the public sees from its vantage point and invites everyone to follow the event on Twitter (@gov_island) and post pictures on Facebook (Governors Island), Flickr (Governors Island group) and Instagram (@governorsisland). Share your pictures!

Governors Island will open as it normally does on Sunday mornings at 10 AM. 


Share Your Building 877 Memories

Building 877 in 2004 by Lisa Kereszi

Building 877 in 2004 by Lisa Kereszi

This Sunday, June 9th at precisely 7:36am, we will be imploding the largest building on Governors Island, Building 877.  This controlled demolition will clear space for over 30 acres of new park and public spaces. If you’d like to watch the implosion in real time, it can be seen from Liberty State Park in Jersey City, the Battery in New York City, or from the 7:30am Staten Island ferry leaving from Manhattan! We will also be livestreaming the implosion on this blog and through our youtube channel. Check back for more details later today.

Building 877 was constructed atop the landfill from the excavation from the Lexington Avenue subway line in 1905. With the consolidation of U.S. Military forces in 1966, the Island was transferred to the Coast Guard. Governors Island was the Coast Guard’s largest installation, serving both as a self-contained residential community, with an on-island population of approximately 3,500, and as a base of operations for the Atlantic Area Command and Maintenance and Logistics Command as well as the captain of the Port of New York. Building 877 was built to serve as housing for Coast Guard families. Though no longer functional, Building 877 has remained on the Island since it was abandoned in 1996.

Former residents, please share your memories of Building 877 in the comments!

The First New Trees Arrive on Governors Island

New Trees for Governors Island - Image Courtesy of West 8

New Trees for Governors Island – Image Courtesy of West 8

The first of what will eventually be 1,500 new trees in the new park and public spaces arrived on Governors Island last week. For now they’re potted up in “Liberty Village”, along the Buttermilk Channel, but eventually they’ll find new homes in Hammock Grove, Liggett Terrace, the Play Lawn, and even at Soissions Landing where we’re creating a new green welcoming area.

g 2013-04-19 first bare root trees up close

Bare root trees will live in pots while they acclimate to the Island.

Hammock Grove in particular will feature a mix of native and locally-adapted species including oaks, sassafras and magnolia. The new plantings for Phase One of the park and public spaces (currently under construction) are  detailed here.

Trust for Governors Island President Speaks at the 2013 Gel Conference

All staff members at the Trust sat on mock-ups of the new curb-style seating to determine what the ideal height and seat design is for maximum comfort.

Trust for Governors Island President Leslie Koch will be speaking at the 10th Anniversary Gel Conference today in Manhattan. Gel spotlights the leaders in “good experience”: in tech, business, society, and art. Leslie will be sharing the story of how she and her colleagues at the Trust for Governors Island programmed and planned the new park improvements by watching how people chose to enjoy the Island’s unique offerings.

The new park was designed with our visitors’ experience in mind. All new features that will be used by the public when the park opens went through rigorous testing before final approval.

As a featured speaker at Gel, Leslie is in excellent company. Gel convenes innovators, influencers, and thought leaders across disciplines and functions that are interested in experience design. Gel is known for finding new voices and putting them on a major conference stage for the first time. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, performance artist Ze Frank, and many others debuted at Gel before speaking at other top events.


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