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July 2012


Central Park's Cherry Hill Concourse: Room with a view


The Cherry Hill Concourse in Central Park recently underwent a renovation. Among the changes were a simplication in its appearance in order to not distract from the views of the surrounding lake. Photo courtesy of the Central Park Conservancy.

Less is more.

That was the thinking behind the renovation of the Cherry Hill Concourse in Central Park, where a ribbon cutting ceremony was recently held to signify a simpler -- and greener -- approach that should keep most visitors’ eyes focused on the vistas of the surrounding lake.

“The most important design objective we had was that it was not a plaza,” said Chris Nolan, the Central Park Conservancy's vice president of planning, design and construction. “It was a concourse, and precedent was given to the experience of the landscape, not a space created by the pavement material. We wanted to pick a [complementary] material that emphasized the fact that the whole design was about cueing up this view to the lake and not be visually distracted by drawing your vision down to the pavement.”

Gone are the three tiers composed of impervious materials such as solid brick and stone that separated the landscape margin from the pedestrian path and the concourse itself. As Nolan noted, such an arrangement provided no outlet for runoff water, leaving it with no other option but to head to the catch basin and into pipes directly into the storm water system. 

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