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January 2003 - Capital Project of the Month

Barretto Point Park

Ricardo Hinkle, Rachel Kramer: Landscape Architects

rish Clark, Marcha Johnson: Landscape Design Team

Carol Qu: Architect

Theo Kavvadias: Environmental Engineer

Reza Mahayekhi, Ghulam Miraki: Structural Engineers

Michael Enitan: Electrical Engineer

Alexander Fakeyode: Mechanical and Plumbing Engineer

FUNDING: This project was funded by Mayor,Giuliani with a total budget of $5,000,000.

Location: The project is located on the southeast side of Viele avenue between Tiffany and Barretto Streets in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx.

Surrounding Land Use: The neighborhood of Hunts Point is bordered by the Bruckner Expressway to the northwest and the Bronx River to the east. The Hunts Point Produce and Meat Market is located about seven blocks to the east of Barretto Point Park. Tiffany Street Pier and the East River are located to the south of the park and the Hunts Point Sewage Treatment Plant is just east of the park. The remainder of the site borders on a mixture of heavy industrial and manufacturing operations. The buildings are low brick and concrete structures. A heavy flow of large trucks and cars use the streets here during the week. The residential section of Hunts Point starts about three blocks north of the park.

Site Background: Hunts Point was a lush green landscape, with farms and estates until the 1900s. Hunts Point Road began as an Indian trail and later was used as the supply route during the Revolutionary War for ships that docked at Hunts Point. Barretto Point is named after Francis J. Barretto who was a merchant and an Assemblyman of Westchester County. He and his wife, Julia Coster owned an estate in the area in the 1800s. Prior to 1950, the Barretto Point Park site housed a sand and gravel operation and an asphalt plant. Between 1954 and 1978 the placement of fill on the site increased the size of the upland and raised the grades significantly. In 2001 the Department of Parks and Recreation acquired the property from DEP. Today the park site is abandoned with tall grasses, weeds and debris.

Additional Information:

Estimated Construction Start: Spring, 2003, with a contract duration of 18 months.


The primary goal of the design was to exploit the substantial East River waterfront to create as much connection to the water as possible, with a wide variety of shoreline experiences, for a community surrounded on three sides by waterfront, but with very little access to it. The main design feature is a gracefully curvilinear and undulating closed loop promenade, lined with benches and groves of trees, circumscribing a large central lawn. A large, stone and grass amphitheater and stage will be constructed to overlook the East River and skyline vistas. And a sand volleyball area, defined by a low stone seating wall, will be carved into the central lawn, adjacent to an enlarged natural sand beach at the bottom of a new boulder revetment.

Along the urban, industrial edge court sports, play equipment, a comfort station, a boat house, a custom designed ornamental steel fence, and perimeter plantings will serve as a buffer and transition zone. This urban-pastoral transition zone will be further defined by a series of discrete play units and fitness areas sited to enjoy the park's sweeping views, and a decoratively paved concrete block spray plaza and seating area that will serve as a gateway into the park.

A river front theme will include a concrete runnel along the shoreline promenade that will channel the water from a decorative spray shower through a playful series of twists and turns before spilling into the river. In addition, several thousand native and shoreline tolerant shrubs, grasses and trees will be planted to establish a naturalizing plant palette, with picnic areas to be located among the groves of trees. Boulders, fieldstone and stone veneer will be used throughout the park to draw upon the rocky Bronx shoreline and the exposed ledge common throughout the Bronx. Recycled plastic lumber will also be used in the benches, picnic tables, cribbing and low barrier rail to draw upon the recycled nature of this former brownfield site, as well as to provide a connection to the adjacent Tiffany Pier, which was completely constructed from recycled plastic lumber.