Photograph by Richard Berenholtz
Photograph by Richard Berenholtz

Walking Tours of Battery Park City

The Skyscraper Museum hosted a series of walking tours of its Battery Park City Neighborhood in 2021 and 2022. Recordings are archived under each tour type. Three different tours explored three areas of the 92-acre master-planned community. The first tour focused 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 emphasized 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 emphasized public space, past and present, and considered the evolving plans to address the challenges of climate change and resiliency along the waterfront.

The dates of the 2022 tours were 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 started at 4pm. The South Neighborhood tour met at The Skyscraper Museum, 39 Battery Pl. and the Business Core and North Neighborhood tours met in The Winter Garden at Brookfield Place.

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

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JUN 9 & JUN 24 at 4pm 

Tour 1 explores Battery Park City's southern district, which is home to the Skyscraper Museum and includes some of BPC's earliest landscapes and infrastructure, including 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 the BPC Authority.

These programs were supported by a Community Partnership with the Battery Park City Authority.


JULY 7 & JULY 15 at 4pm

Tour 2 explores Battery Park City's commercial core with its 1980s skyscrapers of the original World Financial Center (now Brookfield Place) designed by architect Cesar Pelli, as well as the expansive North Cove Marina and its public realm. 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 goals of opening the waterfront to public access and recreation were realized over three decades.

These programs were supported by a Community Partnership with the Battery Park City Authority.


JULY 28 & AUG 12 at 4pm

Tour 3 of the Museum's three thematic walking tours of Battery Park City, held on Thursday, July 28 at 4pm—and repeated on Friday, August 12—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.

This tour will meet under the palm trees at the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place. Our Walking Tours are free! Reservation priority is given to Skyscraper Museum Members and to Corporate Members and their employees. Members can register by emailing [email protected] before the sign-up for Tour 3 opens to the general public on July 1st.

Non-member registration for Tour 3 opens on Friday, July 1st on a space-available basis. Registration for each tour is limited to 25 people. Confirmation emails will be sent 2 days before the event and must be confirmed by 24 hours before the event, or the reservation will be cancelled. Any updates for bad-weather cancellations will be sent to your email address. Masks are required in the Museum and are suggested for outdoor tours.

Programs are supported by a Community Partnership with the Battery Park City Authority.


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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