New York City
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. Its public space is diffuse and lacks many of the characteristics that make modern business districts desirable.
Starr Whitehouse, in collaboration with the Alliance for Downtown New York and FXFOWLE, led participatory workshops and subsequently developed a vision for Water Street aimed to transform the street-level experience with greener, safer and more vibrant, public spaces. 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 ultimately bring energy to an iconic and better integrated Lower Manhattan destination.