By Anna Fixsen
Scarcely two decades ago, Sherman Creek, a tributary of the Harlem River in northern Manhattan, was choked by weeds and the wreckage of century-old boathouses. Now, the New York Restoration Project (NYRP) and Brooklyn-based firm Bade Stageberg Cox are on track to restore the area to the vibrant community hub it once was. On February 6, NYRP announced that with the aid of a $4.4 million grant from the Thompson Family Foundation, Bade Stageberg Cox will transform a strip of flood-prone parkland into a versatile education center and boathouse for the Washington Heights and Inwood communities.
When you actually have buildings in a park, it invites a different level of interaction from the community,” said principal Martin Cox. “There aren’t many buildings like this along the river that are truly open to the public, that are interactive.”
In July, NYRP, Bette Midler’s nonprofit organization dedicated to greening New York City, was concerned by the lack of access and awareness residents had to the river. The organization, with the help of Dovetail Design Strategists, invited eight New York firms—including Desai/Chia Architecture, Urban Data + Design, and WORKac—to participate in the EDGE/ucation Pavilion Design Competition to come up with a resilient scheme for the park. Bade Stageberg Cox, which designed a two-building plan, was announced as the winner in December.