Battery Park City (BPC) sits on the edge of the Hudson River and stretches from Bowling Green to the south and Tribeca to the north. It is essentially a waterfront community without the beach (well, maybe a small one) and its residents bask in the joy of residing and playing along the great waterway. Majestic views of sunsets over New Jersey, the Statue of Liberty to the south and One World Trade Center to the north offer unparalleled settings.
BPC is a fabulous place to live for people of all ages. It is a planned community that offers a mix of commercial and residential offerings as well as a retail mall, a movie theatre, a marina and acres of open space, ballfields, playgrounds, bike paths and walkways. Walk out your door and throw a frisbee, day sail into the harbor, take in a little league game or even try beach volleyball at Pier 25.
There is also a host of cultural offerings not to be missed. Public displays of art and sculpture are scattered throughout the neighborhood while two larger offerings, The Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Irish Hunger Memorial which require extended visits and moments of reflection.
Today, BPC sits as one of the great triumphs of urban planning. Built on landfill from the World Trade Center site, the community covers 92 acres along the Hudson River to the west of the West Side Highway. In sum, there are more than 30 residential buildings and seven commercial properties, the revitalized Brookfield Place (formerly the World Financial Center) and 200 West Street, the state-of-the-art home of Goldman Sachs.
Today, BPC flourishes like no time in its fifty-year history. In a sense, the planned community has come to full fruition. It’s a great place to raise a family or to be an athletically active single. The neighborhood is one of the safest in NYC and certainly the cleanest. Vehicular traffic is at a minimum and many people cross West Street to get to work. There are five pedestrian bridges that span the highway to connect BPC with the Financial District as well as a tunnel that crosses from the Brookfield Mall to the WTC site. The newest bridge, at West Thames Street, replaced the former Rector Street crossing, which was damaged during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The new ownership of the old World Financial Center has revitalized these rather sterile granite buildings. The updated design of this upscale mall welcomes visitors, particularly tourists, from the WTC site.
Yet despite the idyllic nature of BPC, the neighborhood has endured a series of setbacks over the years. The area was blanketed with ash from the collapse of the twin towers. Many residents left and never returned. Hurricane Sandy slammed the neighborhood and caused severe damage. Another random terrorist attack killed several people along the bikeway that runs along West Street.