Hunter’s Point South Park is a New York City Park situated along the East River in Long Island City, New York and directly faces the Manhattan skyline including the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg officially opened the park on August 28, 2013. The East River Ferry resides in the park and transports commuters to E. 34th street in Manhattan in just four minutes and to stops along the Brooklyn waterfront. The park also is located 3 blocks from the Vernon-Jackson stop on the 7 train.

On June 27, 2018 Hunter’s Point South Phase II was officially opened to the public. This 5.5 acre, $100M park extension has been lauded the New York Times, Architectural Record, and other publications for its resilient waterfront design and innovative architectural features. The park, which is wrapped by tidal marshes throughout much of its area, boasts features such as fitness equipment, a kayak launch, meandering walking pathways, and plenty of green space on which to relax. There is also a permanent art installation, titled “Luminescence” designed by local artist Nobuho Nagasawa. The piece includes seven sculptures that represent the seven phases of the moon that absorb light energy and glow at night. The most striking feature of Phase II is a 30-foot cantilevered overlook, which stretches over the tidal marsh and offers quite possibly the best view of the Manhattan skyline you can find. For more information on the park’s resiliency features click here.

Although the centerpiece of Hunter’s Point South Park is indeed the view of the Manhattan skyline, the park offers many fun activities that make it worthy of a visit. Phase I contains an oval shaped turf field and a basketball court with an outdoor gym. There is also a well-equipped children’s playground, a dog run, and sand volleyball courts. For those who prefer to sit back while basking in the ambiance of the waterfront, the park has covered areas and is adequately furnished with comfortable benches and chairs. Visitors can purchase food and drinks from early morning through dinner at LIC Landing by COFFEED, which is located by the East River Ferry Terminal.

To the north of Hunter’s Point South Park is the equally gorgeous Gantry Plaza State Park, which was opened in 1998. This park also offers a stunning view of Manhattan including the United Nations Building. Recreational facilities include basketball courts, playgrounds, handball courts, and four piers including a fishing pier with its own cleaning table. In the summer a mist fountain provides relief from the heat.

The park is named after the restored gantries, which were used to unload cargo from railroad cars so it could be loaded onto barges and ferried to Manhattan.

The parks’ seamless design allows visitors to stroll between these parks without ever realizing that they have moved from a 11 acre City owned park (Hunters Point South) to the 12 acre State owned park (Gantry Plaza State Park).

Park Layout

1. Long island City ferry landing

2. Pepsi sign

3. “Rainbow park” playground & Splash pad

4. Gantry plaza

5. fishing pier

6. dog run

7. basketball court / playground

8. activites oval

9. LIC Landing by COFFEED

10. Hunters point ferry landing

11. sand volleyball court

12. peninsula with permanent art piece “Luminescence”

13. overlook

14. boat launch

Park Aerial View with numbers.png

Both parks are visually stunning, ecologically-minded, and help to create a resilient waterfront that protects the people of LIC. You can read more about the resilient features of the park here. The parks were designed by SWA/Balsley (formerly Thomas Balsley Associates) and their principal Thomas Balsley. Both parks have won numerous awards, including:

Gantry Plaza State Park

  • Honor Award – ASLA NY

  • Design Award – EDRA/PLACES

  • Honor Award – National ASLA

  • Architectural Award of Excellence – Tucker Design Awards

  • Grand Award – International Waterfront Center

Hunter’s Point South Park

  • Design Excellence Award – NYC Public Design Commission

  • Honor Award – International Waterfront Center

  • Honor Award – National ASLA

  • Best Landscape Award – Architect’s Newspaper

  • Play Award – Architect Magazine

  • Honor Award – ASLA NY

  • Merit Award – ASLA NY

  • Merit Award – AIA NY

  • Finalist – World Architecture Festival

  • Finalist – International Architecture Award – The Chicago Athenaeum

  • Green Good Design Award – The Chicago Athenaeum

  • American Architecture Award – The Chicago Athenaeum