Gantry Plaza State Park

Gantry Plaza State Park

Architect
Thomas Balsley Associates
Location
Long island, United States
Category
Parks

gantry plaza state park

Thomas Balsley Associates as Architects

Once a working waterfront teeming with barges, tugboats, and rail cars, the Hunter’s Point shoreline of Queens slowly succumbed to the realities of the post-Industrial Age. As the last rail barge headed into the sunset, this spectacular site was left to deteriorate to a point of community shame. As part of the Queens West Parks Master Plan, Thomas Balsley Associates, together with Weintraub di Domenico, envisioned Gantry Plaza State Park as a place that celebrates its past, future, skyline views and the river. The park is divided into three areas. The Promontory is a great lawn with a natural shoreline edge that takes full advantage of the stunning view of the Manhattan skyline. In North Gantry Plaza, the skyline is framed by restored gantries - gigantic structures that once transferred railcars onto rail barges. Framed by tree-shaded cafes, a fog fountain and game tables, the plaza accommodates 30,000 viewers for the 4th of July fireworks. South Gantry Interpretive Garden is a contemplative space formed by two paths; here, stepping-stone blocks provide the visitor with direct access to the water and look as if they had been abandoned only yesterday. Peninsula Park offers a great lawn promontory with a natural shoreline edge. It is enhanced with willow trees and natural grasses and encourages a wide variety of passive activities, foremost of which is enjoying the stunning view of the Manhattan skyline. This extraordinary site was blessed with a diverse shoreline and an intact light industrial/blue collar residential neighborhood whose diversity inspired its design. This place serves much broader social purposes by healing a once-divided community and instilling in it a strong sense of neighborhood spirit and pride. That an alliance called Friends of Gantry Plaza State Park was formed by original residents to protect the park is a testament to the power of this place.

Share or Add Gantry Plaza State Park to your Collections
Project Credits
Product Spec Sheet

Two Close Between
next project

Two Close Between

Private Houses
Llandudno, Cape Town, South Africa - Build completed in 2020
View Project