Phases of Construction
Phase I of Harlem River Park, spanning, from 132nd to 138th streets was completed in November 2002. It includes a reconstructed river edge, trees, lawns, benches, murals, decorative paving, a bike lane, and an art piece that also serves as a children's spray shower.
Phases II and III of Harlem River Park (138th to 145th streets) were shaped predominantly by Designing the Edge, an environmentally sensitive water edge treatment which is the first of its kind in the city. The creative design of this treatment was initiated by the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance with a grant from the NYS Department of State.
Phase II (138th to 142nd streets) was completed in the summer of 2009. This first phase of Designing The Edge was shaped by the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation in close consultation with the community. It includes 15 etched steel plaques designed by Harlem-based professional artists. In addition, murals created in partnership with the NYS Department of Transportation, the Harlem River Park Task Force, and Creative Arts Workshops for Kids, and painted by local schoolchildren and teaching artists are also located in this section.
Phase III (142nd to 145th streets) also incorporated Designing the Edge features and was also completed in 2009 by the NYC Economic Development Corporation
A Southern Phase (125th to 132nd streets) is currently being used by the NYC Department of Transportation as a construction staging area for the reconstruction of Harlem River Drive and adjoining bridges. Completion of this work is anticipated for 2019, after which, the land will be transferred to the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation. Although further work and collaboration for the Southern Phase is required, when completed, it will connect with an existing waterfront esplanade south of 125th Street to 63rd Street and eventually to a greenway around Manhattan. The goal is to thematically, visually and physically link this section of the park to the Harlem African Burial Ground at East 127th Street near 1st Avenue.
The development of a Northern Phase has been proposed and, when completed, will extend the park beyond 145th Street up to 150th Street and link to Frederick Johnson Playground. However, further work and collaboration with the MTA and the Esplanade Gardens Board of Directors (the primary landowners of this section) is needed to execute this stage of development.