Battery Park City is a 92-acre man-made marvel of a neighborhood stolen from the clutches of the Hudson River. It’s one of the greenest neighborhoods in Manhattan, with eco-friendly buildings and over a third of the land dedicated to parks.
It’s a 92-acre piece of land at the southwest tip of Manhattan Island. The neighborhood is surrounded by water from three sides, though not enough to be called a peninsula in its own right. From the east side, the neighborhood is attached to the Financial District. The two are separated by West Street. To the North is TriBeCa.
If we discard its association with the Battery, the history of the neighborhood called Battery Park City doesn’t even stretch back a century. In 1968, Battery Park City Authority was created to expand the lower west side of Manhattan. The 70s were spent reclaiming 92 acres of land from the Hudson River on which a new neighborhood was to be developed. As per the 1979 master plan, which aimed to balance residential, commercial, and environmental aspects of the neighborhood, one-third of it is public parks.
The first residential complex (Gateway Plaza) was built in 1983, and from then on, the neighborhood saw a series of constructions and rapid development. Now, it’s home to 30 residential buildings and 10.7 million square feet of office space.
Origin Of The Name
Battery Park City gets its name from what’s now called the Battery (its restored historical name) but was previously called the Battery Park up until 2015. The Dutch built a fort in that area and installed artillery batteries/gun batteries (a cluster of cannons) around 1683. The fort was later commandeered by the British and later by American troops and went through a series of names, and was even razed to the ground in 1788. But the installation of Batteries to defend the settlement behind the fort gave the area its name, which has lasted until now.
Main Attractions Of The Neighborhood
You can find amazing food establishments spread out across the length of Battery Park City. Some of them are:
- El Vez and Burrito Bar (259 Vesey St): With a tastefully colorful setting and a lively bar, El Vez is a premium Mexican place in the neighborhood.
- P.J. Clarke’s On The Hudson (250 Vesey St): A simple and elegant place overlooking the Hudson river is equally beloved for the view it offers to the diners as well as the seafood (especially oysters).
- Shake Shack (215 Murray Street): It’s one of the best places for burgers, fries, and shakes in the neighborhood.
- Blue Smoke (255 Vesey St): A top-of-the-line restaurant for BBQ lovers, famous for its Brisket.
- Merchants River House (375 South End Avenue Hudson River, Esplanade): Located near the top-most tip of the neighborhood, this restaurant and bar provide an amazing view of the Hudson and the Statue of Liberty.
As home to some of the most eco-friendly buildings in not just Manhattan but NYC as a whole, Battery Park City is a dream neighborhood for environmentally-conscious dwellers.
- Riverhouse (2 River Terrace): This 32-story is less known for its Gold LEED certification and a generous selection of amenities and is better known for its many celebrity dwellers (though not currently residents). Its penthouse is currently on sale for $18 million.
- The Visionaire (70 Little West Street): This gorgeous, 33-story condominium building was the first LEED platinum-certified NYC apartment building.
- The Verdesian (211 North End Ave): Completed in 2006, it was the first apartment building to get a LEED Platinum certification in the country.
- The Solaire (20 River Terrace): Overlooking the Hudson River and having access to two parks, Solaire is another LEED Platinum-certified building in the neighborhood.
- Ritz Carlton Residences (2 West Street): This amazing waterfront structure is a 40-story mixed-use tower.
Despite its relatively small size, the neighborhood is home to a wide array of attractions.
- Brookfield Place (230 Vesey St, New York): It’s the commercial hub of the neighborhood and home to most of the food establishments and all office buildings. The most visibly attractive part is the shopping mall.
- Rockefeller Park (75 Battery Pl): This park opened in 1992 and is full of amazing gardens and offers amazing views.
- Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust (36 Battery Pl): The museum contains exhibits and pieces associated with Holocaust.
- Irish Hunger Memorial (North End Ave &, Vesey St): It’s significantly less morbid than the name suggests while doing justice to its name, which is a difficult combination to achieve.
- Teardrop Park (Warren St): It’s a 1.8-acre public park surrounded by buildings.
What Is Battery Park City Known For?
- Being one of the smallest and most newly established neighborhoods in NYC.
- Being one of the greenest, if not the greenest neighborhood in Manhattan, with about 39% of the neighborhood area dedicated to parks (36 acres out of 92).
- Hosting one of the highest percentages of LEED-certified buildings in NYC (out of total buildings).
- Beautiful waterfront and a very long jogging track alongside the Hudson River.
- It’s a family-friendly environment.
Battery Park City has a population of about 16,000.
Interesting Facts About Battery Park City
- It’s home to the first residential high-rise building (the Solaire) that achieved LEED Gold certification in the world (2004), as well as the first condominium (the Verdesian) to achieve platinum LEED certification (2008) in the country.
- There are about 35 buildings in Battery Park City: Five office and commercial buildings in Brookfield Place and thirty residential buildings. And 15 of these 35 buildings are LEED certified.
- Even though single-family homes and townhouses in Manhattan are pretty scarce, Battery Park City is perhaps the only neighborhood on which a single-family home was never even built.