Wednesday, February 21, 2007

"Sea Life" Carousel in Battery Park To Link With Coney

The Battery Conservancy envisions a new installation at Battery park. A culturally themed master plan to redevelop the park in the form of a glass carousel called "Sea Glass" (weisz + yoes architecture), which one of its proposed benefits would be to link to the New York Aquarium in Coney Island via a ferry.

“I see it as a real creative magnet that would enhance the park and through it, hopefully, spark curiosity,” said Warrie Price, president of the conservancy, the public-private partnership that maintains the park. “I really want the magic and excitement to get people to learn more and think about conservation. I want New Yorkers to fall in love with the Battery all over again.” said Price to New York's Metro Magazine.

The Sea Glass Carousel would be made of "smart glass" which transforms itself from transparent to dark blue with images of fish projected into it. Which reminds us of Thor's fanciful daydream of giant holographic images of whales greeting visitors upon exiting the Stillwell terminal on Surf Avenue.

The project still needs to hurdle through political hoops and raise public money to cover $6 million in construction costs, of which $1.65 million has already been raised. Of the $5 million of private money needed for the project’s maintenance, the conservancy has $2.4 million.

As Price quoted in the Metro Magazine:

“This is the first time we really used a waterfront cultural destination to link with a cultural destination in another borough,” Price said.

Allan Gerson who represents Lower Manhattan said he hopes the plan would generate support and kick off the ferry service to Coney Island and the Rockaways. "I'd like to get a pilot or limited-run service this summer", he added. "It would take 27 minutes to get to Coney Island [by ferry] and another 10 to the Rockaways.

As further reported in the Metro:
Gerson did not have a cost estimate for the plan, but he sees it as a recreation connection for his constituents who want to go to beaches and a commuter connection for Brooklyn and Queens residents. “Our city has underutilized its waterways,” Gerson said. “We can do better. It’s an idea
whose time has come.”
If this project becomes a reality it could perhaps secure a better chance to keep the importance of amusements in Coney. Something that every day looks more and more bleak with Thor's proposed and still-vague plans to keep amusements in Coney while working towards shrinking the amusement zone.

Carousel links Battery Park, Coney Island, Rockaways [Metro]

Sea Glass animation movie can be viewed here

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