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NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
New view of Governors Island
BY KATHLEEN LUCADAMO
DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU
Sleepy Governors Island moved a step closer to becoming an urban oasis Wednesday when the mayor and governor named a design team to transform the 90-acre landscape.
The architects envision rolling hills made from recyclable materials, a 2-mile promenade circling the island, botanical gardens, wetlands and an amphitheater facing the Statute of Liberty.
Free bikes will be available for visitors to explore a sprawling waterfront and a 40-acre park, preliminary plans show.
The plans also include planting 3,000 trees on what is now a modest golf course. The car-free island would be easily accessible by a seven-minute ferry ride, officials said.
The historic buildings that dot the former Coast Guard base will get a makeover, with new seating and spruced up walkways.
"It will be unsurpassed in terms of its beauty," Gov. Spitzer said after admitting that the island has "languished without significant attention" for far too long.
The federal government transferred the island to the state, the city and the National Park Service in 2003 for public use, after two centuries of restricted military use.
The design team represents five firms: West 8, Rogers Marvel Architects, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Quennell Rothschild, and SMWM. It will be led by Netherland-based landscape architect Adriann Geuze.
"This is really an all-star lineup that is worthy of one of the most high-profile public design projects in the nation," Mayor Bloomberg said.
The Governors Island Preservation and Education Corp., which is overseeing development of the property, is also exploring creating a gondola - similar to those used at ski resorts - to take visitors to and from the island.
"It's definitely very feasible," said Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff, adding that Governors Island "can surpass" Central Park and other world-class parks in Paris, Barcelona and Singapore.