Though it’s easy to forget among high-rises and concrete buildings, New York City is full of beaches. There’s the Rockaways in Queens, Coney Island in Brooklyn, Orchard Beach in the Bronx, and Midland Beach in Staten Island—and that’s only to name a few. Though most of the city’s boroughs offer a seaside reprieve during the hot summer months, Manhattan is notably missing from the list. It’s locked between two rivers, but the small island has never had a public beach—until now.
The beach will provide a comfortable area to relax near the waterfront, though it won’t be open for swimming.
Expected to open in the summer of 2023, Gansevoort Peninsula will be Manhattan’s first public beach. It may not be a coastline in the most traditional sense, but the city is hoping to provide an official location for Manhattanites to relax and sunbathe during the summer months (as it is now, many opt to soak in rays at public parks). “People want a place to lay down and to take their shirt off, and that’s what they’re gonna have here,” Cricket Day, a designer involved in the project told the Daily Beast. However, what they won’t have is a place to swim: Though the plans include a place to launch kayaks, swimming won’t be permitted.
“We’ve been clear from the get-go that this is not a swimming beach,” Noreen Doyle, CEO of the Hudson River Park Trust, told the outlet. “The Hudson River has made a huge amount of progress in terms of its health since the Clean Water Act was passed in the 1970s, but this is not designed as a swimming beach.” But worry not, there will be also be a large sports field, picnic tables, and walking paths for people who want to do more than just lounge along the shoreline.
Manhattan’s first public beach was designed by James Corner Field Operations—the same firm that lead the design for the High Line—and will be located on the shores of the Hudson River near Chelsea and the Meatpacking District. In addition to the highly anticipated beach, the areas have seen a massive influx of buildings and projects from high profile designers, including Bjarke Ingels Group, Zaha Hadid, and Frank Gehry. Three years in the making, the project was first announced in 2019 and was originally expected to open in 2022.
(Architectural Digest 2023)