Peck Slip, a wide cobblestone space in Lower Manhattan’s historic South Street Seaport District, is being redeveloped as part of the revitalization of the East River waterfront. The space has been used for various purposes over time – as a mooring slip for ships docked in the East River, and after the land was filled in, as a market area, and more recently as a parking lot. The parking lot was replaced by a temporary asphalt plaza in 2014, but the site has retained its unique shape and is still surrounded by historic buildings.
Quennell Rothschild & Partners’ plan for the space, developed in response to community input, will create a new flexible use open space that will serve residents, tourists, and restaurant goers, using a palette of historically appropriate materials – stone paving and seating elements and metal bollards, with light foliaged trees for shade and simple low plantings to absorb storm water, designed for the long term using sustainable, environmentally appropriate materials.
The hardscape elements all take their cues from the materials of the Seaport district, with a minimal palette of grey granites and black cast iron elements. Planting areas were carefully located to avoid conflict with the extensive sub-surface utilities and to minimize screening of the most historic buildings. The wedge shaped planting areas respond to the dynamic non-parallel shape of the space, and highlight movement through the space from the openness of the river to the east, to tighter inland street grid at the west.
Construction will begin in 2020. When completed this unique space will regain its place as a public gathering space, providing a place to meet and relax under shade trees, and reconnecting the communities of Lower Manhattan to the waterfront and to the East River pedestrian and bicycle network.