The Dutch firm West 8 has been selected from among five finalists to design the open space on Governors Island, Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Spitzer announced yesterday.
The makeover will feature a two-mile promenade along the water, a park on the southern half, and a new park design in the northern section. Under the plan, a hill will be built over the rubble of demolished buildings, giving pedestrians a 360-degree view of the waterfront, including the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty. "New York is re-embracing the waterfront for the first time in more than a century," the mayor said yesterday at the Whitehall Ferry Terminal. "This park on Governors Island will be at the center of this new era of waterfront recreation for New York City, and will complement the city's other great parks and recreation spaces."
"It is going to be iconic," Mr. Spitzer said.
Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff said the Governors Island development, along with improvements to Battery Park and the construction of Brooklyn Bridge Park, is part of a broader strategy to develop a harbor district in the city.
City officials said the parkland is expected to be completed by 2013. Governors Island served as a supply base for U.S. Army ground and air forces during World War I and World War II, and was later handed over to the Coast Guard. Most of the island was transferred to the state in 2003, since which time it has remained largely deserted as its future was debated.