Battery Pl, State St and Whitehall St
Manhattan, 10004, 10280
Directions via Google Maps
Peter Minuit Plaza And New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion Open
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe today joined Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, Metropolitan Transportation Authority Capital Construction President Michael Horodniceanu, Battery Conservancy President Warrie Price, State Senator Daniel Squadron, City Council Member Margaret Chin, Dutch Ambassador for International Cultural Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Margriet Leemhuis, Downtown Alliance Chairman Robert R. Douglass and President Elizabeth H. Berger, and Community Board 1 Chair Julie Menin to celebrate the opening of Peter Minuit Plaza and the dedication of the New Amsterdam Plein and Pavilion, located in front of the Staten Island Ferry Terminal at State Street and Whitehall Street in Lower Manhattan.
“Peter Minuit Plaza is New York City’s first 21st century intermodal transportation hub, converting an intersection traveled by 150,000 residents and visitors daily into Lower Manhattan’s newest and most dynamic destination for cultural activity, entertainment and enjoyment,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “Through a partnership between Parks, DOT, MTA and the Battery Conservancy, a generous $2.3 million gift from the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and an innovative design by Parks Landscape Designer Gail Wittwer-Laird, and Ben van Berkel of UNStudio, Amsterdam, the New Amsterdam Plein and Pavilion at Peter Minuit Plaza brings a new standard of open space and architecture to Lower Manhattan, the place where New York City was born.”
“For thousands of New York commuters, Peter Minuit Plaza is the gateway to Manhattan,” said Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. “The completion of this project concludes nearly a decade of work to rebuild Whitehall Ferry Terminal and create a new subway station, transforming the area into a world-class transit hub and public space worthy of its place in New York's history.”
“Peter Minuit Plaza and this wonderful intermodal facility is one of the key Lower Manhattan recovery projects funded by the Federal Government after the 9/11 attacks,” said MTA Capital Construction President Michael Horodniceanu. “It’s the City’s first true intermodal center linking ferry, subway and bus and it’s just one of several projects that will re-shape our transit system.”
“The opening of the New Amsterdam Plein and Pavilion at Peter Minuit Plaza demonstrates the commitment of the City, State and Federal governments, a partnering conservancy, and the Kingdom of the Netherlands in creating a unique standard-setting park,” said Battery Conservancy President Warrie Price. “It showcases the result of a shared goal, talented and innovative engineering, inspired design and a will to prepare Lower Manhattan for the 21st Century.”
“The new Peter Minuit Plaza recalls the city’s earliest days as Nieuw Amsterdam while heralding the future with cutting-edge architecture, modern amenities and 21st Century technology,” said Downtown Alliance Chairman Robert R. Douglass and President Elizabeth H. Berger. “What a perfect location for the Downtown Alliance’s third visitor information kiosk. Thanks to the Battery Conservancy and the New York City Departments of Parks and Recreation and Transportation for creating an ideal gateway to Lower Manhattan.”
This rare park/transit meeting ground defines a new era in public space design and construction. Designed by Gail Wittwer-Laird of NYC Parks, Peter Minuit Plaza weaves together trees, gardens, art, food and information with ferries, subways, buses, bikes and pedestrians.
NYC DOT and MTA identified $22.1 million to raise the quality of the plaza to the standard that this major transportation hub deserves. DOT also obtained an additional $1.4 million in U.S. Department of Homeland Security funds for improved ferry terminal security and partnered with NYC Parks on overall design development and construction oversight.
The new 1.3 acre park has a stunning granite and quartz stone plaza with NYC Parks’ standard-setting design, architecture, and horticulture to create a unique public space. Intermodal like no other transit hub in New York, it seamlessly connects NYC DOT's Staten Island Ferry Terminal, MTA NYC Transit's M15 Select Bus Service and #1 and R subways, and NYC Parks' Battery Bikeway and pedestrian pathways. A new taxi stand was added along the eastern edge of the plaza. The design is showcased with the bus loop's serpentine steel canopy, the bikeway's native trees and shrubs, expansive paths lined with ever-blooming perennials, and a bronze relief map of New Amsterdam from 1660.
Anchoring the north end of the plaza is the award-winning New Amsterdam Plein and Pavilion. This historic $2.3 million gift from the Kingdom of the Netherlands on the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's arrival into New York Harbor honors four centuries of Dutch-American friendship and a mutual passion for the values of innovation and creativity, diversity and openness, entrepreneurship and progress.
The Plein and Pavilion was conceived by the Battery Conservancy to create an extraordinary outdoor living room for spontaneous and scheduled activities, public markets, seating and shade, and a gleaming white, iconic, state-of-the-art pavilion, designed by Ben van Berkel of UNStudio, Amsterdam. UNStudio incorporated DuPont™ Corian®, a flexible and innovative design material, to create the exceptionally daring horizontal and vertical surfaces that contribute to the Pavilion’s iconic impact. Handel Architects LLP, New York served as associate architect, working in collaboration with UNStudio.
The design for New Amsterdam Plein and Pavilion creates a 5,000-square-foot programmed space housing regional organic food by Merchants Market, as well as the Alliance for Downtown New York’s Visitor Information Booth.
NYC Parks designed a stone-paved civic platform - plein, in Dutch - with walkways featuring engraved quotations from Russell Shorto's acclaimed book, The Island at the Center of the World. A carved bronze map of Castello's 1660 plan for New Amsterdam by renowned sculptor Simon Verity and his partner, architect Martha Finney, marks the entrance to the Plein and provides a glimpse of the historic evolution of Lower Manhattan. The Plein also feature berms and perennial garden planting beds, designed by NYC Parks using the color palette of Piet Oudolf, who created The Battery Bosque Gardens and The Battery's Gardens of Remembrance.
Every night at 12:00, the New Amsterdam Pavilion will glow with an array of colors in tribute to Peter Minuit whose name translates to 'midnight.' Minuit was the enterprising director of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam who, tradition has it, in 1626 purchased Manhattan Island from a group of Lenape Indians for the trade goods valued by the Dutch at 60 guilders (about what a Dutch soldier then earned in six months), or 24 dollars. He consolidated the dispersed and defenseless Dutch settlements into what would become the New York City we know today.
This destination is, in the words of architect Ben van Berkel, “the ideal site for a permanent commemoration of 400 years of Dutch history in New York, because it is steeped in a sense of a shared past and looks directly toward the harbor where Henry Hudson sailed, but it is entirely focused on the future by virtue of its role as a modern transportation hub within the constantly changing scene of Lower Manhattan. This is a site where history meets the future.”
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Press Contact: Vickie Karp / Phil Abramson (Parks) (212) 360-1311
Seth Solomonow / Scott Gastel (DOT) (212) 839-4850
Jeremy Soffin / Kevin Ortiz (MTA) (212) 878-7440
Andrea Schwan (Battery Conservancy) (917) 371-5023
Arthur Kibbelaar (Dutch Consulate) (917) 442-0926
Machteld Kors (UNStudio) +31 20.570.20.40
Directions to Battery Park
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