The Battery Conservancy, New York City Parks & Recreation, New York, New York
Charged with the redesign of the deteriorated Upper Promenade, Saratoga Associates saw the need to design a space that could hold two seemingly contradictory uses: a walkway to deliver tourists to the Statue of Liberty ferry and other destinations, and a place where people could enjoy the commanding view of New York Harbor.
Observation of the pedestrian movement – of the 5 million+ annual visitors and the everyday city workers and residents – led Saratoga Associates to a plan that repositioned stairs to line up with ferry gangways and integrated wheelchair access ramps. A continuous granite and wood bench was designed for the lower level, with a tall sculpted back that doubles as a retaining wall for flower beds on the upper terrace behind.
On the upper terrace, lush plantings create the sensation of intimacy. In all, more than 5,000 square feet of gardens with native grasses and flowering perennials were planted in collaboration with Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf, transforming the Upper Promenade from a simple pass-through to a destination in its own right.