Staten Island, New York

The waterfront of Stapleton in Staten Island, had once been mudflats, then a small but bustling commercial port, and most recently was fenced in and paved over as the Navy Port. We were asked by the Economic Development Corporation and the community to redesign the Stapleton waterfront, providing three schemes for making the area socially, economically and ecologically rich. Of the three schemes provided, “Working Waterfront” was the landscape design favored by both the client and community. “Working Waterfront” draws from the history of shipping, boatyards, and industries such as an old brewery that used to inhabit the site, while also including ecological restoration through tidal wetlands and a new cove. These ecologically focused elements also incorporated the “Working” concept by adding a small craft launch and boat-building school upland. The design for Stapleton’s waterfront aims to restore this waterfront as a vital, active place, as it had been from the earliest days of New York, until it was cordoned off by the Navy in the 1980s.