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Landscape
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Governors Island

Phase 1

Developed from the 2007 international design competition winning entry and the 2010 Park and Public Spaces Masterplan, Phase 1 of Governors Island, which opened in 2014, creates 30 acres of new park and public spaces and adds key visitor amenities to the historic North Island.

West 8 understood from the outset that the new Park and Public Spaces would need to be resilient in the face of rising waters. Rather than withdrawing in the face of the advancing waters, West 8 lifted the majority of the island out of the flood zone. Allowing people to enjoy the connection to the salt winds, swirling waters and expansive views of the harbor while ensuring that the trees we plant in 2013 grow into a great forest over the next few generations.

Phase 1 of the Park and Public Spaces encompass Liggett Terrace, a six-acre plaza with seasonal plantings, seating, food concessions and a hedge maze; Hammock Grove, a sunny ten-acre 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, and 5 miles of meandering cycleways. In addition, new welcome areas have been added at the Island’s ferry landings, as have key visitor amenities, including new lighting, seating, and signage throughout the Historic District.

The City of New York has committed to investing over $250 million in the redesign and upgrade of Governors Island’s park and public spaces and infrastructure as part of a multi-phase project begun in May of 2012.

Phase 2 – The Hills

The Hills are the latest addition to the park. The first 30 acres opened to the public in 2014 include Liggett Terrace, a six-acre plaza with seasonal plantings, seating, food concessions and a hedge maze; Hammock Grove, a sunny ten-acre 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 new lighting, seating, and signage by Pentagram throughout the Historic District.

Now that the Hills are open to the public, visitors are now able to walk or bike around the island’s entire 2.2-mile promenade and enjoy the popular Picnic Point. The southern portions of the promenade and Picnic Point had been closed since 2012.

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