Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Tortoise and the Hare

Redevelopment plans for the southern section of the East River Park to Lower Manhattan has commanded most of the media’s attention. The seemingly ubiquitous Gregg Pasquarelli of SHoP architects is involved, after all. But a little further north is a long-delayed and more pedestrian restoration project that has finally gotten underway. The waterfront walkway from 14th Street to the Brooklyn Bridge was closed off in 2001 due to dangerously unstable bulkheads. An eight-foot chain link fence went up and, well, you know the rest. But Gotham Gazette reports that recent activity has been spotted to restore waterfront access to the lowly people of the East Village and Lower East Side:

Some $54 million is going to the bulkhead construction. The actual building of the promenade with benches, plantings, and lights will cost $13 to $15 million. That part of the project is currently being sent out for bids.

Of course, no one expects the poor folks and the last of the bohemians on the East Side to get anything remotely like Hudson River Park. But a little waterfront access sure would be nice. Completion date is loosely estimated to be 2007 or 2008, but I guarantee it’ll be done sooner than the fancy-pants Lower Manhattan section (see image below).

Photo: Gotham Gazette, above; rendering of East River Park below by SHoP Architects.