This vintage photograph from 1982 is a reminder not only for what has been lost, but also that urban geography is always changing. In 1982, the World Trade Center complex was not completed yet, and certainly not Battery Park City, most of which was built in the ’80s. The World Financial Center was completed in 1985. The “beach” you see here is from the excavations to build the World Trade Center.

BLDGBLOG, where we found this photo via Studio-X NYC, calls the image “surreal.” Studio-X reminds us that “Today, Manhattan’s shoreline is entirely hardened, an artificial armor of concrete sea walls, which, post-Sandy, is increasingly seen as a vulnerability rather than a strength.” Studio-X also has a rendering of SHoP Architects’ design for Pier 35, which will include a mussel bed and maritime grasses to simulate how Manhattan’s shoreline once originally looked:

On Thursday, Stan Eckstut of EE&K will lead a free mid-day tour of Battery Park,  for NYC x Design. SHoP Architects is also responsible for the designs of the Domino Sugar Refinery development on the Williamsburg waterfront.

Get in touch with the author @untappedmich.