By Dave Caplan.
Battery Park City (BPC) is a 92 acre planned community consisting of residential and commercial property built on the southwestern tip of Manhattan.
The land that it is built on consists of over 3 million yards of rock and soil of which the majority was excavated during the construction of the World Trade Center Site. The neighborhood gets its name from Battery Park which sits just to the south.
From the late 19th to the early 20th century, the area BPC occupies was home to many shipping piers. By the late 1950’s the once vibrant commercial area was dominated by many dilapidated shipping piers, which were the by-product of the rise of container shipping which mostly relocated to Port Elizabeth, NJ.
In the early 1960’s the proposal to reclaim the area through landfill began and was supported by private and public interests. At the same time, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller had his own vision for development of the site. A compromise was reached and in 1966 the plans to build BPC were unveiled. Great architects were commissioned to build a “comprehensive community” consisting of housing, social infrastructure and light industry. Progress was slow, but in the 1980’s 23 buildings went up, followed by 9 more in the 1990’s and 14 more from the beginning of the 21st century to today.
The 3 main commercial buildings in BPC make up today what is known as Brookfield Place (formerly the World Financial Center) and are home to Merrill Lynch, Dow Jones and American Express.
The best view of BPC is from the Hudson River aboard a New York Water Taxi. Pick up an All-Day Access Pass at Battery Park or at a number of other stops in Brooklyn and Manhattan and sit back and enjoy the view.
Last week’s mystery photo – View of Grand Central Terminal.
Last week’s trivia question – Where is the Jewish Museum?