Essex Crossing - 2021 ULI Americas Awards for Excellence Finalist
Learn more about 2021 ULI Americas Awards for Excellence Finalist, Essex Crossing (New York City).
Location: New York, NY, United States
Developers: Trust for Governors Island; New York City Mayor’s Office
Designers: West 8; Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects; Magnusson Klemencic Associates; AKRF; Hart Crowser Inc.; Pentagram; Tillotson Design Associates; Dagher Associates; Pine and Swallow Environmental; Northern Designs; Code Consulting Inc.; Faithful & Gould; ETM Associates; Langan
Site Size: 40 Acres
Governors Island’s park, comprising 40 acres of open space, provides a vital resource to nearly 1 million visitors annually. The park, completed in 2016, creates a new landmark in New York Harbor including lawns, playgrounds, sports fields, food vendors, and a series of earthwork hills that provide panoramic views of the Harbor and surrounding skylines.
The process of redeveloping and reactivating the Island as a public resource and destination with extraordinary open space and educational, non-profit and commercial facilities began in 2003. By 2010, the Trust for Governors Island had been created and West 8 had won an international design competition and presented the resulting Governors Island Park and Public Space Master Plan. Construction began on the park in 2012.
A major goal of the project is to increase the Island’s resiliency to the impacts of climate change. Many features of the park’s design address these issues, including raising the site out of the 100-year flood plain, implementing a sustainable planting strategy, and including elements that mitigate wave action.
With the park complete and the Island open to the public May to October, the Trust continues to develop the Island into a year-round destination. In Fall 2020, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Trust announced plans to establish a first-of-its-kind center for climate solutions on Governors Island. Anchored by an educational institution, this multi-tenant district will bring together interdisciplinary research focused on developing, testing, and scaling new tools for climate solutions with meaningful public engagement through educational and cultural experiences.