Work details
Application Number 0001001880
Author Eshleman, Matthew Joseph, United States
Coauthors Morgan, Zach , United States
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Work title: Harlem River Repair (0001001880)

Through the introduction of sprawling highways, postwar planning effectively tied a noose around the island of Manhattan, wrapping the famously open plan of the city in an urban no man’s land. Massive housing projects spanning several blocks also began to undermine the city’s once limitless flexibility from the inside out. This project proposes that the dire situation can in fact be corrected by pushing the grid even further than it had ever been. By extending the grid east from First Avenue, into the Harlem and East Rivers, the waterfront is once again claimed as the city’s territory. The newly straightened FDR expressway frees the coastline for revitalization, while simultaneously providing the framework for a filtration system, opening the Harlem River up to a range of recreational activities and ecological conditions. The housing projects along the coast are also incorporated into these new ecologies. Landscape modifications along the grid break up the massive blocks of the projects, serving as important new systems for runoff control while also introducing sorely missed variety back into the city grid and uniting two currently disparate neighborhoods.