2. Gantry Plaza State Park
Photograph by Betsy Pinover Schiff via SWA/Balsley
Located just north of Hunter’s Point South Park, the Gantry Plaza State Park shares a similar backstory. Once a working waterfront bustling with barges, tugboats, and rail cars, the neglected site was reinvigorated as part of the Queens West Parks Master Plan with a design by Thomas Balsley Associates and Weintraub di Domenico. The park is made up of three distinct areas including the Promontory, North Gantry Plaza, and South Gantry Interpretive Garden. Like at Hunters Point South Park, at Gantry Plaza pieces of the site’s past were incorporated into the new design. The most notable historic features are the giant gantries that frame the Manhattan skyline. Gantries are structures that were used to transfer railcars onto rail barges. The North Gantry Plaza also features cafes, a fog fountain and game tables and is a popular vantage point for watching New York City’s 4th of July fireworks. This is also where you will find the iconic Pepsi Cola sign. In the garden area visitors can enjoy nature by walking along paths and having direct water access while being surrounded by natural grass and willow trees.