This July 4, New York City can celebrate one nation, indivisible, with Liberty Park and justice for all.

The World Trade Center‘s long-anticipated one-acre Liberty Park is set to open this Wednesday. Designed for the Port Authority by New York–based Joe Brown, a design and planning advisor to AECOM, the $50 million park sits 25 feet above an entrance for security vehicles. Planted with a mini-forest of 50-plus trees, the park will provide a welcome respite from the glare of surrounding skyscrapers for visitors and office workers alike.

A multihued, 25-by-336-foot-long living wall, designed by Plant Connection, shrouds one side of the security entrance, while angular concrete and recycled teak benches, blessedly free of deterrent barriers, are configured for socializing and sunbathing. An overlook on Liberty Street skates 200 feet along the park’s perimeter, affording views of the 9/11 Memorial.

Given the setting, loss and repatriation are central themes of the design and programming. A sapling grown from a horsechestnut tree that grew outside of Anne Frank’s home in the Netherlands has found its home in the park. Additionally, Douwe Blumberg’s 2011 America’s Response Monument (De Oppresso Liber), a sculpture that depicts a Special Forces soldier on horseback who fought the Taliban in the early years of the war in Afghanistan, will be mounted near

While most of the green space will open this week, construction will continue on the Santiago Calatrava–designed St. Nicholas National Shrine, a reconstruction of the Greek Orthodox St. Nicholas Church that was destroyed on September 11. For those who’d like an advance look at St. Nicholas 2.0, Calatrava produced an animation of the church’s interior and exterior that depicts its relationship to Liberty Park and the WTC memorial across the street. The church is expected to open in late 2018, DNAinfo reports.

The park is open to the public year round from 6AM to 11PM.


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