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East Side Story

Manhattan activists get what they wanted: along the degraded, industrial waterfront, a sinuous new park and an environmental center.
August 1, 2003, 5am PDT | Abhijeet Chavan | @legalaidtech
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We observe that (a) nature abhors a straight line and that (b) Manhattan is laid out in straight lines. A hundred and fifty years ago, Frederick Law Olmsted, who insisted that artifice should imitate nature, set out to engineer natural-appearing contours into some 1,300 acres of worn-out land near the middle of the island; eight years ago, Brooklyn-based landscape architect Donna Walcavage, ASLA, began a similar quest on a thin strip of land along the East River. The result is curvilinear Stuyvesant Cove Park, and if the curves are transparently man-made—imposed, as they are, on a flat plane and sandwiched between an arrowlike concrete bulkhead and a strip of elevated highway—they are nonetheless welcome. Unlike Central Park, which conceals its ruse, Stuyvesant Cove is what it appears to be: a man-made park on a reclaimed waterfront.

Thanks to Jeffrey Lofton

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Published on Thursday, July 31, 2003 in American Society Of Landscape Architects
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