Photograph by Richard Berenholtz
Photograph by Richard Berenholtz

Walking Tours of Battery Park City

This summer, The Skyscraper Museum will host a series of walking tours of its Battery Park City Neighborhood. Three different tours explore three areas of the 92-acre master-planned community. The first tour focuses on the South Residential Neighborhood; the second the Commercial Core, Brookfield Place (originally the World Financial Center); and the third, the North Residential Neighborhood, including Teardrop Park and the apartment blocks built after 2001 when mandatory "green guidelines" set by the Battery Park City Authority created the first and largest LEED-rated community in the country.

The tours emphasize the history of the Hudson River piers and working waterfront; the 1960s landfill projects, starting with the excavations of the World Trade Center; the barren sand lot with "Art on the Beach" art installations of the 1980s; the construction of the commercial skyscraper hub of the original World Financial Center; and the slow development of the landscaped parks and apartment blocks that have grown to more than 8,200 residential units. Tours also emphasize public space, past and present, and consider the evolving plans to address the challenges of climate change and resiliency along the waterfront.

The dates of the 2022 tours are June 9 and 24 for the South Neighborhood Walking Tour; July 7 and 15 for the Business Core Walking Tour; July 28 and August 12 for the North Neighborhood Walking Tour. All tours start at 4pm. The South Neighborhood tour meets at The Skyscraper Museum, 39 Battery Pl. and the Business Core and North Neighborhood tours meet in The Winter Garden at Brookfield Place. Registration for each tour opens in May.

The Skyscraper Museum inaugurated this series of walking tours in summer 2021. Led by the Museum's director Carol Willis, and assisted by Jean Im and Museum interns, the 2021 tours were filmed and recorded, then edited for viewing on our website or streamed on mobile for tour takers. View the videos here.

THE VIDEOS OF THE TOURS ARE CURRENTLY IN PREPARATION.

These 2021 and 2022 programs are supported by a Community Partnership with the Battery Park City Authority.

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South Neighborhood Walking Tour

 

2022 JUN 9 & JUN 24 at 4pm 

Tour 1 on June 9 at 4pm, which will be repeated on June 24, explores Battery Park City's southern district, which is home to the Skyscraper Museum and includes some of BPC's earliest landscapes and infrastructure, as well as the residential enclaves built in the 1990s that followed the 1979 Cooper Eckstut Master Plan. We will visit historic Pier A, Wagner Park, and South Cove, as well as the green spaces that connect to the Esplanade, the first waterfront park in New York since the Brooklyn Heights Esplanade in 1951, and learn about the developing Resilience Action Plan of BPCA.

This tour will meet at The Skyscraper Museum, 39 Battery Pl. Walking Tours are free! Programs are supported by a Community Partnership with the Battery Park City Authority.

Registration for this tour will open in May, when an Eventbrite RSVP link will be posted. All tours are free and are limited to 25 people. Confirmation emails will be sent 48 hours before the event and must me confirmed by 24 hours before the event, or the reservation will be cancelled. Any late updates for bad-weather or other causes will be sent to your email address. Masks are required in the Museum and are suggested for outdoor tours.


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Business Core Walking Tour

 

2022 JULY 7 & JULY 15 at 4pm

The second of the Museum's three thematic walking tours of Battery Park City, on July 7 at 4pm, covers the middle zone of the commercial core with its 1980s skyscrapers of the original World Financial Center (now Brookfield Place) by architect Cesar Pelli, as well as the expansive North Cove Marina and its public realm. Tour 2 will be repeated on July 15 at 4pm. This walk investigates how the planning concept of public-private partnership was both the principle and economic engine of the Battery Park City project and how the goal of opening the waterfront to public access and recreation was realized over three decades.

This tour will meet at the vaulted glass Winter Garden at Brookfield Place under the palm trees. Walking Tours are free! Programs are supported by a Community Partnership with the Battery Park City Authority.

Registration for this tour will open in June, when an Eventbrite RSVP link will be posted. All tours are free and are limited to 25 people. Confirmation emails will be sent 48 hours before the event and must me confirmed by 24 hours before the event, or the reservation will be cancelled. Any late updates for bad-weather or other causes will be sent to your email address. Masks are required in the Museum and are suggested for outdoor tours.


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North Neighborhood Walking Tour

 

2022 JULY 28 & AUG 12 at 4pm

The third of the Museum's three thematic walking tours of Battery Park City, on July 28 at 4pm, covers the north residential neighborhood, which was developed in several phases, beginning with Stuyvesant High School at the northeast edge and the esplanade and Rockefeller Park along the Hudson. A diagonal avenue lined with apartment buildings creates one face of the neighborhood, while the inner courts of the large blocks are connected by the delightful Teardrop Park. Located two blocks from ground zero, we will also explore the history and design of the Irish Hunger Memorial completed in 2001. Tour 3 will be repeated on August 12 at 4pm.

This tour will meet at the vaulted glass Winter Garden at Brookfield Place under the palm trees. Walking Tours are free! Programs are supported by a Community Partnership with the Battery Park City Authority.

Registration for this tour will open in July, when an Eventbrite RSVP link will be posted. All tours are free and are limited to 25 people. Confirmation emails will be sent 48 hours before the event and must me confirmed by 24 hours before the event, or the reservation will be cancelled. Any late updates for bad-weather or other causes will be sent to your email address. Masks are required in the Museum and are suggested for outdoor tours.


Left to right: Thomas Airviews/ Collection of the New York Historical Society, Collection of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, Thomas Airviews/ Collection of the New York Historical Society
Left to right: Thomas Airviews/ Collection of the New York Historical Society, Collection of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, Thomas Airviews/ Collection of the New York Historical Society
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