Designs for a proposed esplanade in Lower Manhattan along two mi. of the East River are calling for an eco-friendly public walkway that will nonetheless incorporate the urban grittiness of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive on the island's East Side.
Construction of the $200 million project, with $150 million already allotted by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., is expected to be complete in three to five years.
New York City's Department of City Planning and Economic Development Corp. chose a collaborative preliminary plan by Gregg Pasquerelli of SHoP Architects of New York and the Richard Rogers Partnership of London. Those firms teamed with Ken Smith, a New York-based landscape architect.
The design team proposed a system of landscaped berms along the water, stretching from Battery Park to East River Park. Their plan also calls for glass pavilions underneath the FDR Drive for restaurants and public service venues, redesigned piers topped with public gardens, and modifications to streets leading up to the river, including a set of reflecting pools on Peck Street.
The original design plan called for lowering the elevated FDR Drive roadway to become part of the park at street level, but the cost of that option proved to be too expensive. Instead, the plan calls for cladding the highway's support beams in contoured metal or concrete panels, as well as running a strip of fluorescent lights on the underside of the drive to represent the traffic above.
Avery Fisher Hall Redesign Planned
As part of a $1.2 billion redevelopment plan for Lincoln Center, Avery Fisher Hall will undergo a renovation to install a thrust stage and upgrade its acoustics. Originally slated for completion in 2008 during early design phases, a spokesman for the center declined to release an updated schedule.
While the center's board did not approve a final design, it selected architect Norman Foster out of three candidates for the renovation. Foster's prior work with concert halls includes the Sage Gateshead in England and the Winspear Opera House in Dallas, an egg-shaped, red concrete structure, surrounded by a glass wall, that is currently under construction.
The 43-year old Avery Fisher Hall underwent a temporary $500,000 renovation over the summer in preparation for the center's annual Mostly Mozart Festival. The project included extending the stage 30 ft. into the hall and installation of an acoustical and lighting canopy by Fischer Dachs Associates of New York, which teamed with Jaffe Holden Acoustics of Norwalk, Conn. The stage will remain in place until the renovated hall opens.
The New York Philharmonic, which is based at the hall, is staying at Lincoln Center, despite a 2003 flirtation to relocate to its original Carnegie Hall home.