The Battery, at the foot of Manhattan, is open to the public again after surviving the 9-11 attack and Hurricane Sandy. Landscape Architects Quennell Rothschild & Partners led a team of designers to restore the area, in cooperation with the NYC Parks & Recreation Department and the Battery Conservancy.
The site includes a two-acre area for large gatherings, a bikeway, and Monument Walk, which features 10 restored sculptures that are monuments to this country's explorers, defenders, and inventors. Quennell's lead designer Beth Franz says "New Yorkers and tourists alike will now be able to enjoy a safe, lush, and exciting park. While creating sustainable amenities for 21st century parkgoers, we were careful to preserve the most important historic features."
The two-acre Battery Oval is carpeted with Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue, free of fertilizers and toxins. An outdoor performance area is located between the Oval and Castle Clinton, with 300 chairs for early-bird visitors designed by Andrew Jones to look like blue flowers floating in a field.
The Battery Bikeway links the Hudson River and East River bikeways, and is flanked by gardens designed by Piet Oudolf. Native plants include Serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis) and Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana) trees, along with witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana), sweet pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia), pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia) and many other native shrubs and perennials.
The landscape architects also re-designed circulation to preserve the mature trees, including pin, red and willow oaks, gingkos and elms already on site. The Battery is the city's first line of defense against hurricanes, so paved areas were reduced and mown lawn gave way to huge swaths of native salt-tolerant grasses.
If you decide to visit, there are two cafes in the Battery Bosque, and you might also want to visit the historic Castle Clinton and the SeaGlass Carousel. The Battery Conservancy website also has a complete list of plantings.