Yet another green space in NYC to do something other than watch TV at. . .
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, First Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert C. Lieber and Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation (GIPEC) President Leslie Koch today initiated the demolition of Liberty Village, a cluster of 10 buildings on the island’s southern end not built to City building code standards. The demolition of the three-story buildings, built in 1988 as housing for the Coast Guard, will provide access to half of the island never before open to the public, creating more than eight acres of new open space that will be available to New Yorkers next summer.
In addition, the demolition will open up the island’s entire 2.2-mile waterfront promenade for walking and biking. The new amenities will enhance the island as a destination for New Yorkers, after a record number of visitors this year. By the end of this weekend, more than 125,000 people will have come to the Island, twice the number of visitors last year and more than five times the number in 2006.
The eight acres of open space that will be created after the demolition of Liberty Village represents one part of the open space development underway on Governors Island. Ultimately, the island will offer a total of 90 acres of publicly accessible open space. Last December, the City and State announced the selection of internationally renowned design firms West 8 / Rogers Marvel Architects / Diller Scofidio + Renfro / Quennell Rothschild / Urban Design + to design three new open spaces comprising the 90 acres: a two mile Great Promenade along the water's edge; a new major park located on the southern half of the island; and an improved park design within the northern Historic District. The Great Promenade and forty-acre park will provide places to relax, play sports and explore, all with a unique view of the Statue of Liberty. In the National Historic District, visitors can continue to enjoy acres of green space that include buildings and homes dating from 1810.
The design process of these open spaces began earlier this fall, with extensive and ongoing opportunities for public input, including a new blog, a survey, facilitated workshops and an exhibition on Governors Island. All ideas will be shared with the design team as they craft the park master plan that will be unveiled in the spring of 2009.
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