a M.A.G.I.C. alternative plan for the Governors Island “development zones”

This M.A.G.I.C. Alternative South Island Visualization proposes usage that genuinely benefits the public, is infinitely less costly, and doesn’t essentially privatize the Island’s much-needed open green space with out-of-scale high-rise high-density development such as The Trust is currently proposing. It also respects the floodplain of the South Island.

Download the PDF HERE

Click image to enlarge (opens in a new tab or window). Descriptions below.

A M.A.G.I.C. plan for the Governors Island “development zones”!

Western South Island Zone

All Season Pool (and fitness center?)
A much needed facility for the adjacent Urban Assembly New York Harbor School. It would be open to the public during non-school use. A retractable roof proposed here. Small adjacent building with restrooms etc.

Wooded Picnic Area
A slightly elevated, shaded ridge between the pool and events/athletic area.

Outdoor Events / Athletic Area
A multi-use area for occasional large outdoor events that generate income for the Trust. Between events, it’s an athletic area – with track and play field. Durable surfaces and materials are selected for sustainability.

Eastern South Island Zone

Bandshell
An outdoor amphitheater/bandshell near the historic district theater and just off Yankee Pier.

Wooded Connecting Path
A shaded footpath from the historic district to picnic point connecting all areas of the eastern south island. It could be slightly elevated as part of a general resiliency design.

Urban Farm Area
Expand the Urban Farm into the areas opening up on its eastern side. Support further development of these productive food security and climate healthy programs:  GrowNYC, Earth Matter, Billion Oyster Project

The Old Commissary
If possible, a rehabilitation of this large low-rise building with its loading docks and storefronts has enormous potential. A portion could be restored as a Coast Guard era store which would serve as a GI history museum. The rest could provide space for GrowNYC, Earth Matter, Billion Oyster Project, Street Tree Nursery, Boat House, Harbor School, and the arts.

Street Tree Nursery
This tree nursery will provide a local, lower cost source for street trees city-wide, a Green New Deal jobs and volunteer stewardship training center. Trialing native trees that provide the most return in eco-system services and tracking the benefits (lowered asthma rates, reduced overheating, increased habitat etc) will establish the nursery’s value. Add commemorative trees to increase return.

Bike Innovation Center
Open to all ages and levels of expertise, the Bike Innovation Center would include the design of bicycles, micro mobility, infrastructure, urban riding gear, advocacy and planning, engaging all participants in this carbon-reducing, convivial means of getting around.

Cargo Bike Depot
HQ for a cargo bike center. Using cargo bikes for transporting materials whenever possible around GI would vastly decrease the need for motorized delivery.

Eco Mini-campus
Environmental education (and perhaps research) mini-campus of low-rise built-in-to-hill type buildings. A demonstration area for sustainability and resiliency design. Potentially include a Lenape Center for educational and cultural activities.

South Island Pavilion
Restrooms, snack bar, info center, first aid . . .
Low-rise, built-in-to-hill type design – or perhaps rehabilitate the building currently in that area.

Waterfront Features.
These are inspired by the “Maritime Activation Plan for Governors Island” by the NYC Waterfront Alliance
https://waterfrontalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/GI-MAP-4-30-19_WEB.pdf

    Travel Lift Pier
“Not in use since the Coast Guard days, a travel lift enables small boats to be taken ashore for maintenance. The opportunity to make boat work an integral part of education and community programs on the Island would involve a partner taking on the operations of this pier.”

    Boat House
A potential boatyard for small boat maintenance, design, education (Harbor School). Possibly rehabilitate an existing building(s) in this area. Also possibly,  “…rebuilding Tango Pier as a marina’s central services dock with a dinghy dock and nearby moorings would offer a great benefit to open the Island to visiting recreational boaters who could arrive by their own boat.”

    Water Access points
Locations where the Trust could consider building a get-down for visitors to touch the water. A couple of locations where Waterfront Alliance says that the in-water conditions make this possible: Picnic Point, Buttermilk Beach.