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Maker Park proposes a vision to address New York City’s disappearing industrial waterfront and reimagine what a public park for the 21st century should be. Currently unbuilt, the team hopes to make it a reality. History inspired them. Charles Pratt originally sold his Astral Oil Works on this site to procure funding for the Pratt Institute, the original inclusive “maker” university. New York City acquired the site after ten years; instead of generic lawns, architects and activists came together to propose a new vision combining design, ecology, and remediation. This collaborative pro-bono team includes architects, landscape architects, scientists, attorneys, remediation specialists, and lighting and graphic designers. Nestled against a natural inlet on the East River, 10 majestic oil tanks are redesigned as community gardens, performance spaces, and art installations. Each unique, the tanks will house groves of trees, wildflowers, reflecting pools, vines, a theatre, and an adventure playground. Combined with community maker space, a restored inlet supports wildlife and boating, and a gently bermed lawn promotes performances while protecting from floods. The design pays homage to the community’s legacy of manufacturing and culture of collaboration. The team is working with community groups and city agencies to help make this vision a reality. 

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