Edges of the City

Battery Park


Adjacent from World Trade Center and Financial District

1812

  • “The West Battery was built as part of the New York Harbor defense system to defend New York City as tensions between France, Great Britain, and the United States grew following the Revolution War.”

1823

  • War Department relinquished fortress to the City of New York who transformed the property into an entertainment facility with a restaurant and exotic landscaping.

1844

  • Entertainment facility converted into an Opera House

1848

  •   Causeway removed and island joined to Manhattan with landfill
  •  First home of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Samuel Morse introduced the telegraph here

1854

  •  Lease transferred to the New York Board of Commissioners of Emigration
  • More than eight million immigrants had become Citizens at this Facility

1891

  •  City Parks Department assumed ownership of land

1896

  •  Architecture firm of McKim, Mead & White renovated structure in order to become the New York Aquarium
  • Alland, Alexander -- Photographer

    Photographic views of New York City, 1870's-1970's / Manhattan

  • Landfill was used to surround structure

1910

  • Battery Park designed as part of the city beautiful movement during the 1910s
    • Tear shaped park which extends 22.98 acres

1941

  •  Aquarium closed and threatened for demolition in order to build the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel

1946

  •  Demolition began, Castle Clinton became national monument. In addition to the demolition of the Aquarium, tenements surrounding the area were torn down in order to build tunnel.

1960

  • Cargo Docks and Piers began to decay and collapse.The initial proposal: To reclaim this area through landfill
  • Governor Nelson Rockefeller announced his desire to redevelop a part of the area as a separate project

1966

  • Reached a compromise, the governor unveiled the proposal for what would become Battery Park City:
  • Architect Wallace K. Harrison, proposed a ‘comprehensive community’ consisting of housing, social infrastructure and light industry. The master plan allocated a mix of uses that included 42 percent residential, 9 percent commercial, 30 percent public open space, and 19 percent streets and avenues.

1968

  •  New York State Legislature created the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) to oversee development.

1972

  • BPCA issued $200 million in bonds to fund construction efforts

1976

  • Landfill completed; in many cases, the existing piers were simply buried.

1977-1979

  • Construction halted due to financial hardships

1979

  • The title to the landfill was transferred from the city to the BPCA, which financially restructured itself and created a new, more limited master plan.

1980s

  • Population increased nearly 60% due to high rise construction adjacent to Battery Park

1994

  • The Conservancy for Historic Battery Park established as a non-profit

Resources

Abbott, Berenice, Changing New York, 1998

Architectural Record. Battery Park City: A new Residential skyline for downtown New York. December 1983, pp.28-29

Breen, Ann, & Rigby, “”Waterfronts Cities Reclaim Their Edge””, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1994

Depository Material Government Publications, 1997

Final General Management Plans Environmental Impact Statement, Manhattan Sites, New York

http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/batterypark

http://www.nyc-architecture.com/LM/LM072.htm

http://books.google.com/books?id=y2ujSnvMxrAC&lpg=PR9&ots=kafw_4oiw&dq=battery%20park%20history%20of%20construction&lr&pg=PA2#v=onepage&q=battery%20park%20history%20of%20construction&f=true

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