Officials cut the ribbon on the new Minuit Plaza
On a sunny spring day with tulips blossoming, city, state, federal and even international officials gathered at South Ferry to cut the ribbon on the rebuilt Peter Minuit Plaza and bus loop. The event marked the official end of construction that began more than six years ago with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's reconstruction of the South Ferry subway terminal.
The new Minuit Plaza is now one of the citys most transit-centric public spaces, serving Whitehall Ferry Terminal, the 1 and R subways, regular and Select buses, taxis, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
View a slide show of Minuit Plaza.
Peter Minuit Plaza is New York Citys first 21st-century intermodal transportation hub, converting an intersection traveled by 150,000 daily residents and visitors into Lower Manhattans newest and most dynamic destination for cultural activity, entertainment and enjoyment, said the city Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe.
Commissioner Benepe was joined by city Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, MTA Capital Construction President Michael Horodniceanu, Battery Conservancy President Warrie Price, State Senator Daniel Squadron, City Council Member Margaret Chin, Dutch Ambassador for International Cultural Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Margriet Leemhuis, Downtown Alliance Chairman Robert R. Douglass and President Elizabeth H. Berger, and Community Board 1 Chair Julie Menin.
Peter Minuit Plaza and this wonderful intermodal facility is one of the key Lower Manhattan recovery projects funded by the federal government after the 9/11 attacks, said Horodniceanu. Its the citys first true intermodal center linking ferry, subway and bus, and its just one of several projects that will re-shape our transit system.
The new 1.3-acre park is paved with granite and quartz stone, and surrounded by the bus loop's winding steel canopy, the bikeway's native trees and shrubs, paths lined with ever-blooming perennials, and a carved bronze relief map of Castello's 1660 plan for New Amsterdam.
Anchoring the north end of the plaza is the award-winning The Plein and Pavilion was conceived by the Battery Conservancy to create a 5,000-square-foot outdoor living room for spontaneous and scheduled activities, public markets, seating and shade. The pavilion is part cafregional organic food by Merchants Market, as well as serving as the Downtown AllianceVisitor Information Booth.
The Parks team designed a stone-paved civic platform -- plein, in Dutch -- with walkways featuring engraved quotations from Russell Shorto's acclaimed book, The Island at the Center of the World.
Every night at midnight, the New Amsterdam Pavilion will glow with an array of colors in tribute to Peter Minuit, whose name translates to Minuit (pronounced was the enterprising director of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam who, tradition has it, in 1626 purchased Manahatta Island from a group of Lenape Indians for trade goods valued at 60 guilders (about what a Dutch soldier then earned in six months), or 24 dollars.