Gantry Plaza is the central part of Gantry Plaza State Park. It is a nicely designed area at the front of the Park
At the heart of the plaza stand a massive pair of restored Gantries. You cannot help but admire the two industrial structures that loom over you and gave the park its name. As the Manhattan skyline spreads out in front of you, these centerpieces of the park serve as striking reminders of the area’s history.
The rugged twin pair of gantries served as old shipping lifts of the James B. French patent built in 1925 and were once used to load and unload trains onto barges that carried them between Long Island and New Jersey, serving industries on Long Island via the Long Island Rail Road tracks that used to run along 48th Avenue (now part of Hunter's Point Park). It is for this reason that these gigantic, black industrial monuments have the words “Long Island” painted in orange letters, unwittingly confusing visitors into thinking they are actually in Long Island. The designers of Gantry Park have managed to preserve these gantries and elegantly incorporated these relics of the waterfront’s past into a flourishing public park. They have thereby transformed a declining industrial space and a crumbling shore into a stylish recreational spot, whose focal points now serve as dramatic symbols of urban archeology.