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« Towns Across America Receiving Legal Support Against Fracking From Oil & Gas Companies | Main | California's Wildlife Conservation Board Approves $24.1 Million For Statewide Preservation Projects »
Tuesday
Sep252012

NYC Transforms Old Radio Tower and Ferry Site To Beautiful Recreation Park and Wetlands

Abandoned and overgrown for over two decades, land on Brooklyn’s Greenpoint commercial waterfront that was once home to the WNYC radio transmission tower and a ferry terminal has now been redeveloped into a beautiful recreational park and restored wetland.

This pedestrian bridge in WNYC Transmitter Park was built across an excavated ferry site and restored wetland to increase park access to visitors. Rendering courtesy of the NYC Economic Development Corp.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg just cut the ribbon opening WNYC Transmitter Park in a ceremony that also provided a backdrop of the East River and views of the Manhattan skyline for guests as they listened to speeches from the mayor and other dignitaries including Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and NYC Economic Development Corp. President Seth Pinsky.

In his opening speech to attendees, Bloomberg talked about the features of the new park, saying that it “includes a large open space lawn, a nautical-themed children’s play area, pedestrian paths, a restored wetland, and a waterfront esplanade (a long, open walk area next to the river).”

“By the end of this year, we’ll open the recreation pier, allowing visitors to walk out over the East River and see the park from the water. The pier will also provide even more incredible views of the Manhattan skyline, including One World Trade Center, the Chrysler Building, and the Empire State Building,” continued Bloomberg.

WNYC Transmitter Park map rendering courtesy of the NYC Economic Development Corp.

“And future plans include transforming the old transmitter station into a café and public comfort station, making the park an even more attractive destination,” added the mayor.

Also excited about the opening of the new park was Mark Markowitz who talked about this own personal experiences growing up in the borough, saying, “When I was a boy, waterfront accessibility was zero. The only water we knew was Coney Island, the man-made lake in Prospect Park, and open fire hydrants.

Markowitz added, “I am happy to say that we have come a long way since those days. Now even more Brooklynites will be able to enjoy the fact that we are almost completely surrounded by water. The new park will feature stunning views of the outer borough of Manhattan, a playground for children, and soon visitors will be able to stroll along the pier or take in a view from some of the prime rooftop seats above the café.”

Children at play in WNYC Transmitter Park’s nautical playground. Rendering courtesy of the NYC Economic Development Corp.

Seth Pinsky, president of the NYC Economic Development Corp., also commended the project, saying that, “The park is part of the mayor’s larger waterfront vision, which involves the creation of new open spaces across all five boroughs.”

Pinsky added that this vision also “involves the creation of new residential areas including some of our largest affordable housing projects and just as importantly it involves commercial development, preserving and expanding waterfront employment, and encouraging the growth of the water transportation of goods and people for efficiency and sustainability.”

The NYC Economic Development Corp. oversaw the construction of the park and after completion, handed over operation to the NYC Parks Department.

This park was a $12 million project that included $9.6 million in city capital funds allocated by Mayor Bloomberg, $500,000 allocated by the New York City Council, a $1.1 million grant from the Federal Highway Administration, and $370,000 in grants from the NYS Environmental Protection Fund.

The mayor said, “The WNYC Transmitter Park is part of an ongoing effort to convert much of north Brooklyn’s shoreline into a network of interconnecting public spaces, and that is a big part of why we worked with the local leaders and community groups to rezone this area back in 2005.”

“Our administration has invested more than $3 billion to maintain our city’s 29,000 acres of parkland, while adding over 730 new acres, and under the leadership of our new parks commissioner, Veronica White, working with First Deputy Mayor Patty Harris, this important work will continue,” added the mayor.

Transmitter Park was designed by EDAW/McLaren Engineering Group/WXY architecture + urban design with The Rio Group as resident engineer. Phoenix Marine Co. was the contractor.

 

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