Designed as the centerpiece of McKim Mead and White’s 1930’s “Island Beautiful” plan, Liggett Hall is a massive U-shaped Neo-Georgian structure that transverses the Island. Its most distinctive feature is the Arch, the monumental archway that connects the Historic District public spaces to Liggett Terrace. Framed by the wings of Liggett Hall, Liggett Terrace is a lively four-acre public space full of activity and amenities.
Walking south through the Arch to the Terrace is a memorable “through the looking glass” moment. The Arch itself provides a wonderful opportunity for public art to accentuate this moment. Behind the visitor is the familiar landscape of the Historic District. The Arch opens into Liggett Terrace, a great urban plaza made welcoming by flower beds and mosaics, plantings, art, seating, cafe carts and play structures. From the Terrace, the Hammock Grove and the Play Lawn unfold beyond, with the promise of the Hills in the distance.
Protected from the Harbor by the building that frames its outdoor “room,” Liggett Terrace faces south, and is warmed by gentler breezes and full sun. Beds of tulips welcome spring, with seasonal plantings to enliven the Terrace throughout the spring and summer months. Visitors can move tables and chairs to sit in the sun or shade, watch children at play, read a book, or drink an iced tea.
Liggett Terrace is a wonderful place for young children and their families. A play area provides climbing and swinging activities while reflecting pools offer children a chance to get wet or play with toy boats.
ARRIVING AT LIGGETT TERRACE
The hub of activity at Liggett Terrace draws visitors, young and old, into the heart of the Island. Visitors arriving at Yankee Landing walk a few minutes west to Liggett Terrace, or they can bicycle south through the Terrace to the Play Lawn or west to the Great Promenade. The protected setting and vibrant amenities make Liggett Terrace welcoming year round, especially for visitors who may not explore all of the park and public spaces or who are on the Island to work or participate in an activity housed in a building.
Leaving the Terrace to head north through the Arch provides an equally distinctive moment. Visitors, with the expanse of sky, sea and undulating park behind them, walk through the Arch back to a unique historic setting, now enlivened by its connection to the south, and by the new activity in the park, public space and buildings.
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The 92-acre Governors Island Historic District, including the 22-acre Governors Island National Monument, is a nationally and locally designated historic district. Changes to the Historic District are guided by preservation and design standards that seek to protect the architectural and…
The Hammock Grove provides an area of filtered light and shade between the cultivated sunny space of Liggett Terrace and the open expanse of the Play Lawn and the Hills and Harbor beyond. Visitors come to the seven-acre grove to…
The Play Lawn is an 11-acre green expanse where children and adults play sports, soak in the sun, roll around on the grass, grill, and gather.
In the largest multi-purpose lawn area, two regulation-sized ballfields support league baseball, softball, soccer…
The southern half of the Island stretches from the flat plantings and paving of Liggett Terrace through the gentle sloping paths of the Hammock Grove and Play Lawn to four hills rising in height from 46 feet to 82 feet…
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The bell of a buoy sounds, storm clouds are visible in the distance, the temperature drops and the breeze picks up as the visitor rounds the Island’s southern tip. Gone are the Manhattan skyline and the Brooklyn waterfront. Ahead, as…