9. Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park is Being Demolished as Part of a Flood Resiliency Project

Robert Wagner Park

Near the Museum of Jewish Heritage, Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park, named for the three-time mayor in the 1950s and 1960s, doesn’t look anything like what it used to a few months ago. The entrance to the park from South Cove Park is now closed off, and a large construction wall surrounds what remains of the park, which for nearly 30 years boasted clear views of the Statue of Liberty. Now, the park is being demolished as part of a $221 million climate resilience plan. In its place will be a reconstructed park, raised 10 feet to prevent flooding in the neighborhood.

As part of the reconstructed park, elevated beams will suspend a flood wall, while an underground cistern will hold 63,000 gallons of stormwater. The park is set to be completed in 2025, though getting to this point was not without major resistance. Firms were brought in to propose other ideas to raise the park without demolishing it, while others protested that the new park would have less green space. The BPCA was sued for not considering alternative designs and using inaccurate climate projections. Ultimately, construction on the new park is underway, whether or not residents are enthusiastic about it.