31 in 31: #14

This is a series for August 2010 which documents my on-the-ground -- and on-the-webs -- research for my guidebook to contemporary NYC architecture (to be released next year by W. W. Norton). Archives can be found at the bottom of the post and via the 31 in 31 label.

Queens West (Stage II)

Just north of the Gantry Plaza State Park designed by Thomas Balsley Associates and opened in 1998 sits a 2009 extension of the park, called alternately Queens West (Stage II). The earlier park is marked by the large waterfront gantries (emblazoned with LONG ISLAND in orange letters) that obviously lend the green space its name. The new addition is punctuated by the famous Pepsi-Cola sign facing Midtown Manhattan. As of now the park extension stops just short of the sign.

Queens West (Stage II)

Designed by Abel Bainnson Butz, the Stage II park (PDF link) is a pleasant space with a playground, lots of benches, paths for strolling, and the occasional small building. One of the last included a round wood structure with solar roof panels. Not yet open, I guessed it to be a vending area or bathrooms or both. Another little structure is pictured above and below, what looks to be a storage shed for a small community garden. In the photo above the shed is the terminus of the garden entered at the other end, off camera to the right; those metal things lined up in the middle-right with circles are lockers, I'm guessing for people with plots. I really like the shed's overgrowth, curved roof, and chain spouts for water shedding from the roof. In a drawing of the park the little building would be a dot, but it nevertheless makes an impression walking around the park.

Queens West (Stage II)

#1 - Phyto Universe
#2 - One Bryant Park
#3 - Pier 62 Carousel
#4 - Bronx River Art Center
#5 - The Pencil Factory
#6 - Westbeth Artists' Housing
#7 - 23 Beekman Place
#8 - Metal Shutter Houses
#9 - Bronx Box
#10 - American Academy of Arts and Letters
#11 - FDR Four Freedoms Park
#12 - One Madison Park
#13 - Pio Pio Restaurant


  1. very nice little project.

    John, can you tell me if those drip chains were stainless or galvanized finish?

    I have some chains specified on a current project, but was wondering if upgrading to stainless would be worthwhile since they are at such a prominent location.


  2. Must say I didn't pay that much attention to the chains, but I'd guess galvanized. Just about everything else is galvanized, so that would make sense.

  3. A cute little structure as you say, it definitely gets noticed even though it’s partly hidden by the shrubs. What makes you think it is a storage shed though? It could be public toilets for the people visiting the park or some kind of seating area perhaps, or have any number of other purposes?

    1. Because toilets are in a nearby structure, there is plenty of seating elsewhere, and the pictured structure is only accessed from the community garden, which is fenced off from the public areas. Makes sense that communal supplies for the garden would be there, while individual supplies would be in the lockers in the second photo.


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