Gantry Plaza State Park is located on the waterfront of Long Island City in the borough of Queens in the city of New York. The Park provides visitors with an unobstructed view of the world famous Manhattan skyline. Just one stop away from Manhattan on the NYC subway, or 5 min by cab if you prefer, Gantry Park is literally a stone’s throw away from the heart of the city.
Opened in 1998, development of the Park has been in stages, with the first phase being completed in 2009 and second scheduled for completion in 2012. As it now stands, the Park, though estectically beautiful, sits on a mere 10 acres of land, but will ultimately grow to over 40 acres in size on completion, covering no less than one mile of riverfront overlooking the eastern side of the Manhattan skyline.
The Park itself is built on an industrial relic of New York City’s history, dating back to 1925, when gantries were constructed in Long Island city to serve Long Island. At that time they were used to load and unload rail car floats that operated via Long Island Rail Road tracks. While these gantries were operationally shutdown many years ago, their majestic structure with bold ‘Long Island’ signage remained visable accross the river from the eastern side of Manhattan. Unwittingly however, they served to mislead many New York visitors into thinking that they were actually seeing Long Island from Manhatta,n when in fact they were looking at Long Island city which is not in Long Island but rather in the borough of Queens in the city of New York.
More recently, as plans emerged to develop a new and exciting Long Island city riverfront, developers decided to create a park around these iconic relics. They aestheticzed the environment by designing the park with refurbished gantries at its heart, borrowing the park’s name from the structures, and creating four elegant piers and other facilities around them. The result is undoutedly the creation of a ‘jewel on the East River’.
For visitors, Gantry Park is an extraordinarily beautiful place that paradoxically marries the majestic New York skyline to the contrasting peacefulness of the East River. It sits like an oasis of serenity for parkgoers in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the greatest city in the world.
For residents, the surrounding area of Gantry Park is quickly being developed as a prime New York neighborhood, with high rises sprounting from the Park’s landlocked borders, giving residents a view of the Park’s stunning landscape flowing into the peacefulness of the East riverbefore rising to the splendour of the Manhattan Skyline. It’s a truly breadthtaking package. Small wonder why thousands of New Yorkers have recently flocked to the shores of the gantries to take up residence, and thousands more are expected to follow suit in the near future.
With the advent of a growing residential community and the influx of more and more visitors, the arrival of the business community at Gantry Park has also been accelerated. To this end, a slew of new restaurants have emerged primarily on Vernon Boulevard, just two blocks away, and on the riverfront itself. Nightlife is also coming alive with a few dance and comedy clubs beginning to spring up in the area.
In addtion to these business, there are several compeling community projects now underway. In this regard, at least three new schools are under construction and a uniquely designed public library that promotes community is also being built on the waterfront.