Hudson River Park

Merit Award

Hudson River Park Historic Interpretive Master Plan

The Hudson River Park project consists of the redevelopment of 5.5 miles of derelict industrial waterfront on the west side of Manhattan in New York City into upland park and a marine sanctuary.

The development is broken into seven project segments, each with its own designated design and construction teams. The designer's intent is to provide a consistent park-wide organizational structure and content for the development of the educational interpretives in each of the segments. The document provides strict subject selection and content while providing "interpretive types": clusters, individual interpretives, walking tours, and exhibits. Teams will develop a diverse application of designs that communicate an organized story and consistent curriculum throughout the park.

The designer worked closely with the Hudson River Park Trust's education staff and advisory board to develop a comprehensive selection of subjects that was inclusive of the broad history and communities that transformed the Hudson River Waterfront from a pastoral setting into an urban industrial zone.

The greatest challenge of the project was to provide the framework for the interpretive system while not taking away from segment designers the ability to create unique and compelling solutions.

Jury Comments: 

"This master plan is a comprehensive compilation of interpretive themes of the Hudson River waterfront and organizes the information into an effective framework to enhance the park visitor experience. The report is a resource book for ways to convey stories and themes without defaulting to a conventional sign system that is applied uniformly to the site. Remnant site artifacts from the industrial waterfront and ideas for introduced elements can be interpreted by artists or craftspeople to add further enrichment. This is an excellent overall plan for site-based interpretation that takes advantage of experiential moments that the site has to offer."

Design Firm: 

Emphas!s Design


Hudson River Park Trust

Location City: 

New York, New York

Project Area: 

5.5 miles

Open Date: 


Project Budget: 


Photo Credits: 


Design Team: 

Andrew Simons (Principal in Charge), Cindy Poulton (Lead Designer), John Berman (Historian)


Signe Nielsen Landscape Architects; Li Saltzman Architects, PC; Russell Design Associates; Ellipsis…(Cost Estimating)



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