New York has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a superb new park on the East Side Waterfront that would open up access to the East River and create new open space in a neighborhood that desperately needs it.
In the summer of 2011, MAS hosted a design charrette for the former Con Ed Pier, located between East 38th and East 41st Streets on the East River waterfront. The charrette (an intensive design workshop) was co-sponsored by local elected officials and Manhattan Community Board Six. You can read The New York Times event recap here.
The charrette came at a particularly important moment – the City hired AECOM to conduct a study on the potential greenway between East 38th and East 60th Streets, the East River Ferry service just began three blocks to the south at East 34th Street, and Con Edison turned over the pier to the City with $13 million dollars to help fund its reconstruction. Shortly after the charrette, in October 2011, the state legislature passed legislation that allowed city and state officials to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to generate additional funding for the future East River Waterfront Esplanade. Visit East Side Open Space for more information on the MOU and plans for the new East River Waterfront Esplanade.
Charrette participants included representatives from NYC Department of Parks & Recreation (NYC DPR), NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYC EDC), Manhattan Community Board Six, the United Nations Development Corporation, NYU Medical Center, in addition to residents of the surrounding neighborhood.
Since the charrette in July 2011, MAS worked with Barbara Wilks and her firm, W Architecture and Landscape Architecture, to produce the report, New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park. The report is a synthesis of the ideas generated from the day-long event and represents the community’s vision for a new waterfront open space. MAS released the report to the NYC EDC and their consultant for the project, AECOM, with the intention of guiding the future transformation of the former Con Ed Pier into a new community park.
This is the turning point for waterfront access along the East Side of Midtown and is a continuation of MAS’ long standing commitment to bringing New Yorkers back to the waterfront and ensuring that the communities have a voice in shaping their future.
See the MAS produced booklet on the East Side Waterfront Park.