Updated Proposal for East River Waterfront Between Catherine and Pike Slip
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Last night, SHoP Architects and Ken Smith Workshop returned to the Parks subcommittee of Community Board 3 to present the updated schematics for “Package 4” of the East River esplanade. The team had first presented their vision exactly one year ago, so this session was meant to gather additional feedback within a 45-day grace period before heading to City Planning for final approval.
Package 4 encompasses the East River coastline running between Catherine and Pike Slip, with the ultimate intention of “humanizing the space.” This ribbon of green land is to carry much of the same street furniture as its sister parks – light exercise equipment, bench and bar seating, picnic tables, etc. However, the area in question will boast a few exclusive elements:
- To simulate the “front porch” feel, architects have designed a set of swings to dangle from the FDR above. They’re called “gliders.”
- The design team worked with California Skateparks to create a dedicated shred zone near Market Slip. Due to its narrow composition, a smaller selection of obstacle elements will be installed. Might become a crowded mess, though…
- Due to safety concerns, series of “Fishing Get-Outs” is also in the proposal. These are basically riverside balconies extending twelve feet into the water that isolate fishermen from passersby.
- Bleacher seating for better, unobstructed lounging.
A good deal of CB3 discussion focused on the interaction of the skatepark with the neighboring bike path and ping pong tables. Despite the placement of deterrent pavers, there was some concern about what could go wrong with flying skateboards and people chasing ping pong balls. Also of note was the small turf playing field and the board’s adamant stance against any permitting or event usage.
CB3 and Council Member Margaret Chin have until August 26 to submit their comments and recommendations. From there the Department of City Planning will make its decision. Targeted completion date is pegged at spring 2015.
Full presentation is below: