FINANCIAL DISTRICT — A new, expansive area where children can swing, dangle and slide is on its way to The Battery.
The Battery Conservancy is planning a $14 million overhaul of its run-down playground, a space that never fully recovered from Hurricane Sandy's destructive floods nearly four years ago.
The revamped "Playscape" will be a "really unique, special addition for the growing number of families Downtown," Warrie Price, the president of The Battery Conservancy, told DNAinfo New York. "The expansion is so important to the community — we're building for now and for the long-term future."
The upgraded playground will triple its current size, and take up about 1.4 acres, Price said, and, unlike many other playgrounds in the city, the space will be filled with greenery — "rain gardens" that will more efficiently "bounce back" from heavy rains and water runoff.
Price says the innovate design creates a playground that seems built into a natural setting — five slides of varying sizes for different ages are made from stone in the "Adventure Bluffs," while elevated playhouses will be built within the tree canopy.
BKSK Architects and Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners rendering
The playground will also be home to the "Jewel Box" — a theater space where can children can put on their own shows, with puppets and marionettes on hand "to add some more magic" to the space, Price said. Along with a more inventive and weather resilient design, the new grounds will be better equipped to accommodate handicapped children as well, Price said.
BKSK Architects and Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners rendering of the Jewel Box theater
The sweeping reconstruction is still in the planning phase, and needs approval from the Public Design Commission to move forward — something the conservancy hopes they will get this July. If scheduling goes according to plan, construction on the project would begin in about a year, and the playground will be ready for the public in 2019.
The Playscape is being built with mostly private conservancy funds, as well as $6 million awarded through the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.
"We know this will be a beautiful, innovate space," Price said. "A place filled with plants, shubbery and horticulture — a healthy, fun environment for children to play in."