Monday, January 18, 2016

Waterside Plaza (aka Bristol Basin)

Nestled along the East River stands Waterside Plaza. Located on the east side of FDR Drive, between 25th to 30th Street. It holds some wonderful views of Brooklyn...

...Queens, and Roosevelt Island.

Designed in 1966 by the architecture firm Davis, Brody & Associates, the first building was opened in 1973. Originally a housing development, the Waterside Management Company threw $35 million towards a three-year improvement program in 2004, publicly opening the four towers of 1,470 units and 25 townhouses to all.

What makes this triangular-shaped landmass so interesting is that it's mostly made up of rubble from England. The structures were built atop a landfill created using debris from the city of Bristol after its bombing by the German Luftwaffe during World War II.

Brought over in the ballast of ships, the buildings were later constructed on a platform with 2,000 pilings dug 80 feet deep into the scree on the shore of Kips Bay.

The area was to be expanded in the 1980s, but scrapped due to resistance by the community, as well as environmental concerns.
The United Nations International School is located just to the south of the complex, with - fittingly enough - the British International School of New York holding lease in a number of the commercial spaces.