Gantry Plaza State Park

I went to go find Gantry Plaza State Park, which was recommended to me by Kristin at Design Trust for Public Space.

On the walk from the subway to this waterfront park, I was reminded of other waterfront areas (like Hamilton in Brisbane and Habourfront in Toronto) which are being redeveloped but still feel a bit ‘disconnected”.   It was the kind of walk, where you don’t see the water, it’s not really that great looking, but you trust the map that there is some oasis to be discovered at the end.

And true there was a great park at the end.

It is just part of a bigger redevelopment plan by Queen West Development Corp. It is designed by Thomas Balsley Associates,

I really liked:

A) The different landscape themes and variety of spaces.

There were different piers around the historic gantries, an open hard plazas, open lawn areas, more vegetated areas and promenade areas

B)  Great quirky “non-standard” furniture.

I had heard it had hammocks, but it turned out they moved them for some new playground.  BOO!  I have a personal request to my landscape architect friends, to please design more hammocks into public space.  I mean who doesn’t love a hammock!?!

The furniture helped distinguish different zones and areas.   I’d compare many to the loungers on the High Line – there is something about scale and unexpected form.  Anything other than a standard park bench is awesome.


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