Gantry Plaza State Park

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Gantry Plaza State Park
Transfer bridges, support gantries, and piers in the park
Gantry Plaza State Park is located in New York City
Gantry Plaza State Park
Location in New York City
TypeState park
LocationHunters Point, Queens,
New York City, United States
Coordinates40°44′43″N 73°57′32″W / 40.74528°N 73.95889°W / 40.74528; -73.95889Coordinates: 40°44′43″N 73°57′32″W / 40.74528°N 73.95889°W / 40.74528; -73.95889
Area12 acres (4.9 ha)[1]
CreatedMay 1998
Operated byNew York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Visitors905,450 (in 2014)[2]

Gantry Plaza State Park is a 12-acre (4.9 ha) state park[1] on the East River in the Hunters Point section of Long Island City, in the New York City borough of Queens. The park is located in a former dockyard and manufacturing district, and includes remnants of facilities from the area's past. The most prominent feature of the park is a collection of gantries with car float transfer bridges, which in turn were served by barges that carried freight railcars between Queens and Manhattan.


The park as seen from Roosevelt Island

The southern portion of the park is a former dock facility and includes restored "contained apron" transfer bridges of the James B. French patent.[3] These were built in 1925 to load and unload rail car floats that served industries on Long Island via the Long Island Rail Road's North Shore Freight Branch, which used to run on the south side of 48th Avenue (now part of Hunter's Point Park). The northern portion of Gantry Plaza State Park was part of a former PepsiCo bottling plant that closed in 1999.[4][5] The freight branch was located below street level, and it was infilled in the early 2000s.[6]

The park contains a 120-foot-long (37 m), 60-foot-high (18 m) cursive, ruby-colored, neon-on-metal Pepsi-Cola sign, manufactured by the General Outdoor Advertising Company in 1939 and rebuilt by Artkraft Strauss in 1993. It was located on top of the bottling plant before it was dismantled and reassembled into a permanent location within the park in 2009.[7][8] The Pepsi-Cola sign was designated a New York City landmark on April 12, 2016.[9][10]

The park first opened in May 1998 and was expanded in July 2009.[11] The park is being developed in stages by the Queens West Development Corporation. The original section of Gantry Plaza State Park was designed by Thomas Balsley with Lee Weintraub, both New York City landscape architects, and Richard Sullivan, an architect. Stage 2, the new six-acre (2.4 ha) section of the park, was designed by New York City landscape architecture firm Abel Bainnson Butz and the first phase of Stage 2 opened to the public in July 2009. When complete, Gantry Plaza State Park is expected to total 40 acres (16 ha) in size.[12]


The park offers picnic tables, a playground, playing fields, and a waterfront promenade facing the headquarters of the United Nations and the Midtown Manhattan skyline. Fishing and crabbing is permitted at pier #4, subject to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation regulations.

In popular culture[edit]

  • A view of Gantry Plaza State Park is seen one hour and nine seconds into the 1969 Olsen-banden film The Olsen Gang in a Fix.[13]
  • The film Munich took advantage of the park in its final scene, shot in 2005.[14] The pier and the Pepsi-Cola sign to its north are visible in this scene.
  • The same location was used in The Interpreter,[14] in the final scene where Nicole Kidman's character says goodbye to Sean Penn's character, who is sitting on a fence by Gantry Park. The Pepsi-Cola sign at the former bottling plant is visible in the scene as well.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Section O: Environmental Conservation and Recreation, Table O-9". 2014 New York State Statistical Yearbook (PDF). The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government. 2014. p. 672. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-09-16. Retrieved 2016-02-13.
  2. ^ "State Park Annual Attendance Figures by Facility: Beginning 2003". Retrieved 2016-02-13.
  3. ^ "J.B. French Transfer or Float Bridge (Patent US001778667)". United States Patent and Trademark Office. October 14, 1930. Retrieved 2016-11-10.
  4. ^ Costella, AnnMarie (July 9, 2009). "Gantry Plaza Park Gains Six Acres". Queens Chronicle. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  5. ^ Gray, Christopher (2004-11-07). "On Waterfronts of the Present, Rail-Bridge Relics of the Past". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  6. ^ "GANTRY FANCIERS in Long Island City". Forgotten New York. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  7. ^ Blumenthal, Ralph (February 25, 2009). "Letter by Letter, Pepsi Rejoins Skyline". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-30.
  8. ^ Kadinsky, Sergey (2016). Hidden Waters of New York City: A History and Guide to 101 Forgotten Lakes, Ponds, Creeks, and Streams in the Five Boroughs. New York, NY: Countryman Press. ISBN 978-1-58157-566-8.
  9. ^ Engelbert, Corinne (April 12, 2016) "Pepsi-Cola Sign Designation Report" New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission
  10. ^ Dunlap, David W. (April 12, 2016). "Pepsi-Cola Sign in Queens Gains Landmark Status". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-11-10.
  11. ^ Polsky, Sara (October 19, 2012). "Exploring the Second Stage of Queens' Gantry Plaza State Park". Curbed NY. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  12. ^ "Gantry Plaza State Park - About the Park". 2012. Archived from the original on June 27, 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-13.
  13. ^ "Film 2 Olsenbanden på spanden Die Olsenbande in der Klemme". (in German). Retrieved 2014-05-29.
  14. ^ a b Duke, Nathan (January 4, 2010). "The Reel Queens: Queens Locations Appeared on Screen More This Decade". Queens Village Times. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved 2010-05-30.

External links[edit]