Liberty Park (Manhattan)

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Coordinates: 40°42′40″N 74°00′51″W / 40.711067°N 74.014278°W / 40.711067; -74.014278

Liberty Park
Liberty Street park NW opening day jeh.jpg
Opening day at Liberty Park
Liberty Park is located in New York City
Liberty Park
Liberty Park
Nearest city New York City
Area 1 acre (4,000 m2)
Created 2013 (2013)
Operated by NYC Department of Recreation
Visitors N/A
Open June 29, 2016 (2016-06-29)
Status Currently Open
Designation New York City Police Department

Liberty Park is a one-acre (4,000 m2) elevated public park at the World Trade Center in New York City, overlooking the World Trade Center site. It is located atop the Vehicular Security Center and opened on June 29, 2016. The St. Nicholas National Shrine is located within the park, serving as a place for anyone to pray for and remember those who died at the original World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.


Construction began in 2013 when the Vehicular Security Center was completed, and was estimated to be completed between 2015[1] and early 2017. It opened on June 29, 2016. The park overlooks the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and will have a connection to the Liberty Street Bridge.[2] The St. Nicholas Church, destroyed in the September 11 attacks, is being rebuilt in the park, with a new design by Santiago Calatrava, who also designed the Transportation Hub.[3] The park, located 25 feet (7.6 m) above Liberty Street, is just a little more than one acre (4,000 m2) in area.[4]

Liberty Park is located on top of the Vehicular Security Center, the latter of which protects the site against unauthorized vehicles.[5] About $50 million was allocated to the park's construction by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in December 2013.[6] The park opened on June 29, 2016.[7][8]


The park has a capacity of 750 people and will be the roof of the Vehicular Security Center. A "living wall" will be located on the Liberty Street facade, which would be "essentially a vertical landscape, roughly 300 feet long and more than 20 feet high, made of periwinkle, Japanese spurge, winter creeper, sedge and Baltic ivy." A walkway from the pedestrian bridge will curve along the park; egresses will be three stairways, the pedestrian bridge, and a straight ramp down to Greenwich Street. Of these exits, a wide, "monumental" staircase would be located parallel to Greenwich Street and directly behind the church. There will be wood benches and a small amphitheater-like elevated space at the West Street end of the park. Finally, a "continuous overlook" along much of Liberty Street would be provided in addition to "a gently curving balcony" at the church's foot.[3]

Five World Trade Center was planned to be built adjacent to the southern edge of the VSC and Liberty Park on the site of the former Deutsche Bank Building.[9] As of 2014, the Port Authority does not plan to proceed with construction of the building until tenants are found.[10]

Location of The Sphere[edit]

The Sphere, a large metallic sculpture by German sculptor Fritz Koenig, once stood in the middle of Austin J. Tobin Plaza, the area between the World Trade Center towers in Manhattan was recovered from the rubble of the Twin Towers after the September 11 attacks in 2001. The artwork faced an uncertain fate, and it was dismantled into its components. Although it remained structurally intact, it had been visibly damaged by debris from the airliners that were crashed into the buildings and from the collapsing skyscrapers themselves. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), which owns The Sphere, is considering placing the sculpture in Liberty Park, which will be located between the 90 West Street building and the World Trade Center Memorial site. Construction on Liberty Park did not start until 2013, so a location was needed to place The Sphere until Liberty Park is completed. As of February 2011, PANYNJ had not made an official final decision on where to place the sculpture once Battery Park construction commences, forcing the sculpture to move. Until Liberty Park opened, The Sphere was to go into storage.[11][12] On July 22, 2016, the PANYNJ voted to move the sculpture to Liberty Park.[13][14][15]

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church[edit]

On July 23, 2008, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey reached a deal with the leaders of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church for the Port Authority to acquire the 1,200-square-foot (110 m2) lot that the church had occupied, for $20 million, $10 million of which is coming from the Port Authority and the other $10 million of which is coming from JPMorgan Chase.[16][17]

The Port Authority and the church announced a deal in July 2008 under which the Port Authority would grant land and up to $20 million to help rebuild it in a new location – in addition, the authority was willing to pay up to $40 million to construct a bomb-proof platform underneath.[18] In March 2009, the Port Authority stated it quit talking with the church and canceled building St. Nicholas altogether. The Port Authority claimed that the church was asking for too much, and that they might delay the whole World Trade Center project.[17] The Archdioceses says that they just wanted the church back, and a third of the building would be a memorial for 9/11, and a place where people of all faiths could pray and remember those who died in the attacks.

Architect Santiago Calatrava was awarded the task of designing the new St. Nicholas. His plans drew inspiration from the great Byzantine churches of Hagia Sophia and the Church of the Holy Savior in Chora, both in Istanbul.[19] The church will be constructed in Liberty Park; the site for the new church is east of the original site at 155 Cedar Street.[20] As of 2013, construction of the new church was scheduled to begin in early 2014, and to end in early 2017.[21] The new church will be created from steel and concrete but the exterior will be clad in stone. The interior design of the church is still being determined.[22] The site for the new church is east of the original site at 155 Cedar Street.[23] Construction of the new church began in early 2014.[24]


  1. ^ Rosenfield, Karissa (November 26, 2013). "Elevated Park Planned for World Trade Center". ArchDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  2. ^ Fishbein, Rebecca (November 20, 2013). "WTC Getting Elevated "Liberty Park" With View Of 9/11 Memorial". Gothamist. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "First Look: Santiago Calatrava’s Design for St. Nicholas Church". Tribeca Citizen. October 29, 2013. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  4. ^ Dunlap, David W. (November 20, 2013). "Elevated Park at Trade Center Site Comes Into View". The New York Times. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  5. ^ "In a Shift, WTC Residents Like What They Hear on Security". Downtown Express. April 24, 2014. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  6. ^ Budin, Jeremiah (December 13, 2013). "Liberty Park Funding Approved by Port Authority". Curbed NY. Retrieved May 15, 2014. 
  7. ^ Gelman, Max (2016-06-29). "New elevated park opens near the WTC 9/11 Memorial". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2016-07-01. 
  8. ^ Walker, Ameena (2016-06-29). "See photos of WTC's Liberty Park on its long-awaited opening day". Curbed NY. Retrieved 2016-07-01. 
  9. ^ "10 Years After 9/11, Deutsche Bank Tower Vanishes". New York Times. 2011-01-12. Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  10. ^ "World Trade Center museum deal may lead to land sale: sources". Reuters. 2012-09-12. Retrieved 2013-09-12. 
  11. ^ Shapiro, Julie. "9/11 Family Members Start Petition to Save World Trade Center Sphere". DNAinfo New York Associates. Retrieved February 28, 2011. 
  12. ^ Chung, Jen. "World Trade Center Sphere's Uncertain Fate Worries 9/11 Families". Gothamist. Retrieved February 28, 2011. 
  13. ^ Warerkar, Tanay (2016-07-21). "WTC's Liberty Park will become home to iconic 'Sphere' sculpture". Curbed NY. Retrieved 2016-07-28. 
  14. ^ "Koenig Sphere Moving to WTC Liberty Park, Port Authority Says". DNAinfo New York. Retrieved 2016-07-28. 
  15. ^ "Port Authority votes to move Koenig Sphere to Liberty Park | DOWNTOWN EXPRESS". Retrieved 2016-07-24. 
  16. ^ Associated Press (July 23, 2008). "Church surrenders ground zero lot". MSNBC. 
  17. ^ a b Bagli, Charles V. (March 18, 2009). "Church Destroyed at Ground Zero Is Still at Square One". The New York Times. 
  18. ^ Bagli, Charles V. (July 24, 2008). "Agency in Tentative Accord With Ground Zero Church". The New York Times. 
  19. ^ Dunlop, David W. (October 13, 2013). "Church Near Trade Center to Echo Landmarks of East". New York Times. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  20. ^ Dunlap, David (October 14, 2011). "Way Is Cleared to Rebuild Greek Orthodox Church Lost on 9/11". The New York Times. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and Saint Nicholas Church Establish National Shrine at Ground Zero". Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. November 13, 2013. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  22. ^ Sirigos, Dean (March 8, 2014). "Hagia Sophia Spirit Abound in Calatrava’s St. Nicholas Ground Zero Church Design". The National Herald. Retrieved May 29, 2014. 
  23. ^ Dunlap, David (October 14, 2011). "Way Is Cleared to Rebuild Greek Orthodox Church Lost on 9/11". The New York Times. 
  24. ^