The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council recently debuted the first permanent arts and culture center on Governors Island. Known as the LMCC Arts Center at Governors Island, the new building spans 40,000 square feet and contains a range of facilities including artist studios and gallery spaces, a performance center, and the island’s first outdoor café.
A significant chunk of new public park space on the southern end of Governors Island is expected to open on July 18, a few months after the island officially opens for the summer season, Curbed NY reports. The latest park addition is called The Hills, and features the 25-foot-tall Grassy Hill, the 40-foot-tall Slide Hill, the 40-foot-tall Discovery Hill, and the 70-foot-tall Outlook Hill. Work is quickly wrapping up on The Hills, as seen in photos in a Curbed NY article. Once opened, it will join the recently constructed Liggett Terrace, the Play Lawn, and Hammock Grove, which will put the amount of parkland on Governors Island to around 150 acres. West 8 designed the 30-acre park, and the Trust for Governors Island its development.
In Mayor Bill de Blasio’s State of the City speech given last Thursday, a significant mixed-use development initiative was proposed that would transform Governors Island, which measures 172 acres in the Upper Bay just off the southern tip of Manhattan, into a year-round community. According to Politico New York, the car-free island has 900,000 square feet of development potential on 33 acres, and the mayor is seeking to utilize it to build cultural, educational, and commercial properties. The project will be handed over to the Trust For Governors Island and a Request for Proposals (RFP) should be launched later this year. Construction could begin as soon as 2019, although the Hills, a 10-acre man-made park designed by West 8, is slated to open this summer. The National Park Service oversees two 19th century forts (22 acres) on the island and roughly 92 acres on the historic northern end is a U.S. National Historic Landmark.