Water Street Study
New York, NY
- Landscape Architects
- Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners
A significant commercial corridor in Lower Manhattan, Water Street holds over 19 million square feet of prominent Class A office space. The wide two-way Street is anchored by the South Street Seaport to the north and Battery Park to the south, making it easily accessible for workers, residents, and tourists. Yet, Water Street’s aging commercial space is increasingly threatened by more attractive and better priced office space elsewhere in Manhattan. Furthermore, its public space is diffuse and lacks many of the characteristics that make modern business districts desirable.
The Starr Whitehouse/FXFOWLE team conducted extensive research and developed design interventions to activate the public spaces, and thus steward public and private reinvestment in the corridor. Recommendations include a street reconfiguration to accommodate a planted median with turn-bays, an extended sidewalk on the west side of the street, an expansion of Wall Street Park, and programming of privately owned public spaces. Together, these interventions will transform the public space into an identifiable asset, ensuring Water Street’s future as a competitive business district.