New York City
Governors Island, which guarded New York harbor for more than 200 years, was recently decommissioned and turned over to public use. Through a series of projects Stephen Whitehouse has worked to realize the island’s tremendous potential as a public landscape. Prior to the Federal land transfer, he was the landscape architect for a team concept plan that secured the City and State’s support for the transfer of 150 acres of the island. The other 22 acres became the new Governors Island National Monument. Stephen Whitehouse assisted the National Park Service in developing a vision for the park, which encompasses the core of the 18th- and 19th-century forts and military landscapes, including a parade ground and the remnant swale from a former protected walkway between the forts. The National Monument’s first General Management Plan considers issues of preservation and reuse of the historical structures and landscapes, outreach and maintenance, defining the boundaries of the park and shaping the visitor’s experience through the built structures and the landscape to bring the island’s history alive. Landscape elements include removing parking lots to make a seamless transition between Castle Williams and Fort Jay, demolishing 1970s-era buildings to open up dramatic views to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, restoring the parade ground and highlighting the original shoreline of the island.
To advance the larger park concepts, Stephen Whitehouse has assisted the Regional Plan Association and Governors Island Alliance in the Governors Island Park Design Workshop and their publication of Governors Island: Guideline for Parks and Public Spaces.