Download the Park and Public Space Master Plan

- Executive Summary

- Vision of the Landscape Architect

- Principles

- Site Plan and Areas

- The Way It Works

- Implementation

Images for the Press

all images should be credited to “West 8 / Rogers Marvel Architects / Diller Scofidio + Renfro / Mathews Nielsen / Urban Design +”

Comments (17)

Comments —

  • It is great to see development but it is disheartening how over developed some of the designs are with no preservation of the esthetic of space and time. I would preserve the look and feel of the islands period beauty. if your trying to accommodate the future patrons just think how special it would be to be able to visit a bygone era. All of the nuances.. signs, cobblestones, rusted benches etc make the island what it is and that is magical experience. Please don’t go to Ikea on this one. Be different.

    By Lisa on September 7, 2010 8:14 pm
  • There is an unequaled opportunity to recreate the original New Amsterdam as was done in Colonial Williamsburg (Virginia) and Loiusbourg (Nova Scotia). The Louisbourg Citadel in Nova Scotia was re-built from the original plans held in Paris and it is quite the attraction. Williamsburg speaks for itself, as millions of tourists have enjoyed the place.

    Please think it over before you commit to the plans that you have. The recreation of New Amsterdam and a native settlement would be a phenomenal draw for school children, tourists and maybe even New Yorkers!

    Why go to the trouble to visit a park that could be in any place, let alone take a ferry to get there.

    By Christopher Moore on October 5, 2010 10:21 am
  • I love the proposed hills in the South of the island, but wonder at what the large grey areas of “development” will bring?

    I also really don’t like the preservation of any of the military buildings except for the fortifications. I’d rather they removed all and unleashed the landscape artists to create more interesting features.

    Might I propose a version of Mohonk’s wonderful family scramble, “The Labrynth”, in some new hills replacing all the old officer’s quarters.

    I think some music halls would liven up the walk around the island too….

    By Marc Johnson on October 11, 2010 8:35 am
  • Over last hundred or so years, many of us military personnel who were had the privilege to serve and live on Governors Island, it would be a shame to up-root and drastically change a large part of our own history. I can remember walking to work on the island or just riding my bike to feel the history creeping around every corner and through every building. There’s so much of our nations history that has taken place on the island. It is nearly pristine just the way it sits today. Please preserve as much of the island that is possible.

    By Richard McComber on December 5, 2010 6:51 pm
  • Two things people would definetly enjoy in Govenors Island in my opinion is, a walking pedestria bridge and an public Obserbation Wheel with an estoundishing view of the soroundings. Probably even as enourmus as china’s Star of Nangchang and Singapore flyer in Singapore, creating both a land mark and a recreational for the city of new york.

    By Frank Viloria on January 6, 2011 1:59 pm
  • I think the preservation of the entire upper half of the island is a little unnecessary. The castle and fort are definitely worth keeping and add to the intricacies of the island. It would be nice to have more of the island to be reverted back to a more pristine state, particularly one that can work alongside the flora and fauna of the region. The wetlands that are designed seem to be of a low priority, there are so many pathways cutting it up into almost miniscule pieces.

    The “grey” areas are indeed worrisome. Governors island is cluttered as it is already, are we just going to tear half of it down to re-clutter it?

    I think this project is in the right direction, but I don’t think the position is at all strong enough.

    By Zach on February 7, 2011 11:00 pm
  • I definitely prefer to maintain as much of the island’s history as possible. I’m not really impressed by the hills — manmade hills seem out of sorts with the history of the island — but they certainly don’t offend me, because I understand the buildings they’d replace aren’t historically important. I’d rather see the southern area turned into something that connected with the history of the place — like the suggestion above about a historical area similar to Williamsburg. But a park is fine, too.

    BUT…don’t you dare do anything to the historically-important buildings on the northern part of the island. If you’ve never walked around with a former resident, you have no idea what those buildings mean historically — and it’s a window into a part of the past that is historically significant and very easily lost. There are plenty of “pristine” nature areas in the world — let’s not tear down our historically-important buildings in the name of providing city-dwellers with a man-made reinterpretation of what they could find by driving ten minutes into Jersey. Preserve the history first — let people understand where they come from.

    By Bryan on February 18, 2011 3:53 pm
  • The buildings on the northern part of the Island are all within the National Historic District, are protected and will remain there in the future. These beautiful historic buildings are all available for adaptive re-use and will be home to future tenants such as educational, cultural, commercial or non-profit institutions. As you may know, the Urban Assembly Harbor School and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council currently use two historic buildings for a public high school and an artist studio program. Many historic buildings are also open to visitors during the public access season with art projects and exhibits.

    By Elizabeth on February 22, 2011 7:34 am
  • I lived on the island from the winter of ’89 to the summer of ’94. I have plenty of memories of how the island looks. When I saw the design pictures of the hill and the hammocks my heart broke. They do not reflect the history of the island like it should. A great example of how they should preserve the island and the hundreds of years of history to follow what was done at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina. I would love to one day visit the place where I started school, learned to hit a baseball, lost my first tooth, and had countless times of catching lighting bugs at dusk in Nolan Park, however, if it is turned into what I saw in the pictures I could not bring myself to do it.

    By Elizabeth on April 28, 2011 5:23 am
  • As a former military spouse, I understand the desire to be able to go back and visit a post as it used to exist, but just as in civilian areas, we need to remember that as times and needs change buildings, parks, roads, etc. change. I am glad that the truly historic buildings are in the historic district and will be saved. I am also glad to see that the southern part of the island will be landscaped to provide a more diverse landscape, and one that will remain above the expected water line until at least 2100.

    By Pat Meyer on June 2, 2011 2:15 pm
  • This is a historical site these plans just tore history and burned the book. Keep the the history just a little modernization – let this be a place of learning and reflection of history.

    By Nancy on June 19, 2011 4:30 pm
  • Thanks for the comment. The West 8 team is designing a new 40 acre park for the southern, non-historic end of the Island, as well as the 2.2 mile promenade and 33 acres of green spaces in the Historic District. All of the buildings in the historic district will remain, and the landscape interventions done in this area (such as new lighting or signage) will be done in a manner that respects the historic landscapes and the feel of the Island.

    By Elizabeth on June 20, 2011 8:47 am
  • My dad worked for the Department of the Army for over 40 years from 1919-1960.He was a traffic manager involved with moving people and equipment all over the world. I would like to see where he worked since I was never allowed to visit the Island.We plan a family excursion for the first week in August.Is it possible to see where he worked?

    By Jim Riehman on June 20, 2011 11:50 am
  • Bldg 400 and north (whole top end) need to be preserved. Too much history has happened there. The south end of the island can all be razed and remodled however people want, it’s all fill anyway.
    I lived on the island for 14 years and both my kids were born there. There isn’t a better spot in the world to watch 4th of July fireworks!!

    By Dave on June 23, 2011 7:10 am
  • The northern part of the Island (Liggett Hall and the entire historic district) will be preserved. The site of the future park and future development is on the southern portion of the Island, south of Division Road.

    By Elizabeth on June 27, 2011 12:30 pm
  • The Island is open every friday-sunday and all holiday Mondays through september 25. We hope you can find a time to visit the Island during one of these days. For a full schedule of events and programs, visit

    By Elizabeth on June 27, 2011 12:31 pm
  • I can’t say that I’m impressed either. The man made mountains and marshes seem like a waist of space and money. Just clutter. My fondest memories of the island are concerts and festivals I went to. I would prefer to see larger open areas to host festivals and events, as NYC is lacking in these capabilities and it would provide annual revenue capabilities. I laughed when I saw the mock image of a café; I can see it now—$17 burgers and $8 coffees.

    By Adam on August 4, 2011 3:43 pm

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