Work is complete on Elizabeth H. Berger Plaza in the Financial District, and the newly built park is now open to the public. Designed by landscape architect George Vellonakis, the project involved the reconfiguration of streets to create a more pedestrian-friendly plaza, and is named in honor of the late Downtown Alliance president Elizabeth Berger. The green space is bound by Greenwich Street to the west, Edgar Street to the north, and Trinity Place to the east.
The aerial photograph below is from 2018 and shows the previous iteration of the park, where two separate concrete plazas were diagonally divided by an exit lane from the Hugh L. Cary Tunnel. The curve of the exit lane prevented pedestrians from seeing oncoming vehicles. The new arrangement repositioned the exit lane to transition into Greenwich Street. A black metal fence and stone retaining wall protects pedestrians from passing cars, and landscaping and garden beds create a buffer space in between.
Elizabeth H. Berger Plaza now comes with two entrances on the northern end of the park, numerous winding pathways lined with different shaped stone, classic New York-style wooden benches, a gradually elevated, elliptical-shaped green lawn with a wooden fence around the perimeter to allow the freshly laid down sod to settle into the soil, new lamp posts, low-lying black railing around the garden beds, and an abundance of varying coniferous and deciduous tree and shrub species. The subway staircases that lead down to the local 1 train at the Rector Street station have remained in place throughout the redesign of the plaza.
Some of the original older trees were preserved, and protected with wooden fences and orange netting around their trunks during the construction process, as seen in these photographs from early 2020. At this point the bisecting roadway had been removed, but its outline can still be spotted with the rocks and gravel.