Not far from Ground Zero, the Battery Park City neighborhood in lower Manhattan has greatly changed in the years since 9/11.
Irish Hunger Memorial Battery Park City, Lower Manhattan, NYC
During my May trip to New York, I had planned, and looked forward to a long walk through the acres of new parkland, plazas and coves stretching from the North Esplanade of Battery Park City, south to the tip of Manhattan and the Robert Wagner Jr Parks and Pavilions - adjacent to the magnificent Piet Oudolf landscaped gardens at Historic Battery Park, the subject of an upcoming post.
The Alliance for Downtown New York now provides a free shuttle bus, making it incredibly convenient to enjoy the restaurants, endless activities, and green spaces encompassed within the bustling districts of lower Manhattan.
I stepped off the shuttle at an unexpected stop, when I caught sight of a poignantly composed green sward. The Irish Hunger Memorial, designed by artist Brian Tolle, with landscape architect Gail Wittwer-Laird among the project's team, commemorates the famine of the mid-1880s, while raising awareness for all who face hunger in the world today.
An authentic stone cottage from County Mayo is incorporated into the transformative, cantilevered terrain of the 1/2-acre site, where the pathways wind through a landscape planted with native species from Ireland.
An architectural expanse of Irish limestone and glass reveals layers of text, bringing to light & involving the visitor in its commentary of historical and contemporary issues.
At the Memorial's high point, the vista frames the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in the distance.
The garden's effect is luminous yet subdued.
A potent reminder.