FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 9, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND NETHERLANDS CROWN PRINCE AND PRINCESS UNVEIL NEW AMSTERDAM PAVILION AT PETER MINUIT PLAZA
Gift from Dutch to New York City Honors 400 years of Dutch-American Friendship and Will Be a Centerpiece of The Battery's Revitalization When Complete in 2010
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima of The Netherlands, Dutch Cabinet Minister Frans Timmermans and Under Secretary of State Judith A. McHale today unveiled the New Amsterdam Pavilion at Peter Minuit Plaza at The Battery. The $2.3 million New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion is a gift from the Dutch Government to New York City to mark NY400 week and honor the Dutch-American pioneers of New Amsterdam. The completed exterior of the pavilion unveiled today showcases state-of-the-art Dutch architecture and design. The entire 5,000-square-foot New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion, designed by internationally acclaimed architect Ben van Berkel of UNStudio, Amsterdam, will be completed in the spring of 2010. Also attending the unveiling were Ambassador of the Netherlands to the United States Her Excellency Renee Jones-Bos, Ambassador of the United States to the Netherlands Fay Hartog-Levin, Commissioner of the New York City Commission for the United Nations, Consular Corps and Protocol Marjorie B. Tiven, NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta, Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, New York State First Lady Michelle Paige Paterson, The Battery Conservancy President Warrie Price and The Battery Conservancy Chairman William Rudin.
"New York City - today the world's most diverse city, open to anyone from anywhere who seeks a better, freer life - is deeply indebted to the Netherlands for helping instill a spirit of tolerance and generosity from its earliest days," said Mayor Bloomberg. "That spirit is epitomized by the extraordinary gift of the Dutch government to the people of New York City: the New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion. When it opens next spring, it will serve as an emblem of our long and strong ties to the Netherlands and be a striking entryway for visitors to Lower Manhattan. It will mark the NY400 celebration and commemorate the Dutch ideas, commerce, and culture that continue to enrich our City. We are extremely grateful."
"To mark the deep bond between our country and this great city in this great nation, we want to present the City of New York with a lasting token of our friendship," said His Royal Highness Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands. "The Dutch pavilion symbolizes both our shared legacy and our joint commitment to the future."
"The Pavilion is a permanent gift with which we want to mark our shared 400 years of history but most of all our shared vision of the future," said Dutch Cabinet Minister Frans Timmermans. "It stands as a monument to our friendship and serves as a reminder of the open-mind and entrepreneurial spirit of the Dutch-American pioneers."
"The Netherlands is a country that sets global standards for how cities and countries can regenerate themselves through the professional strength of innovative and talented designers, and through the force and beauty of the natural world," said The Battery Conservancy President Warrie Price. "The Battery, where New York City was born, began its own revitalization with the work of famed Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf, who created with us the largest perennial gardens in North America, free and open to the public. With the New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion, we are delighted to continue our mission of design excellence, privileged to expand our connection to the great tradition of Dutch design, and honored to bring to New Yorkers and guests from around the world the joy of nature, the pleasure in community and the value of great modern architecture."
Located in Peter Minuit Plaza - named for the Dutch Director-General who in 1626 consolidated the early settlements at the tip of Manhattan - and adjacent to the Whitehall Ferry Terminal, the New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion will be an attractive gathering place for New Yorkers and visitors and a striking entryway to Lower Manhattan. The pavilion design by Ben van Berkel of UNStudio includes tables and seating that will surround the sculptural pavilion featuring an expressive, undulating roofline, curving walls and an electronic facade LED system that allows for a constantly changing light show at night. The landscape architects of New York City Department of Parks & Recreation designed a stone-paved civic platform - plein, in Dutch - with walkways featuring engraved quotations from Russell Shorto's acclaimed book, The Island at the Center of the World. A carved stone map of Castello's New Amsterdam will mark the entrance to the Plein to provide historical context. The plein will also feature berms and perennial garden planting beds, designed by New York City Parks & Recreation using the color palette of Piet Oudolf, who created The Battery Bosque Gardens and The Battery's Gardens of Remembrance. Handel Architects LLP of New York City are serving as the associate architect for the New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion.
The presentation of the pavilion by Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima of The Netherlands and Dutch Cabinet Minister Frans Timmermans to Mayor Bloomberg and Under Secretary of State McHale is part of NY400 Week, a week-long, citywide celebration of events and activities to mark the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's arrival on a Dutch ship at the shores of what is now New York Harbor in September 1609. New Yorkers and visitors will enjoy Dutch festivals, sailing races, dance parties, free bike rentals, museum exhibitions and other activities on land and sea as they celebrate the shared history and connections of New York City and the Dutch. NY400 Week culminates with the first-ever Harbor Day on Sunday, September 13 at six waterfront sites across the City.
The creation of the New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion will be a centerpiece of the current revitalization of the historic Battery. The Battery Conservancy, with the support of its partners at the city, state and federal levels, has raised over $100 million to revitalize the park and its many features and services for all New Yorker residents and visitors. Expansive lawns, overarching shade trees, vast perennial gardens, waterfront promenades with sweeping views and cultural programs will soon be complemented by The Battery Bikeway connecting the East and West Sides of Manhattan; the much-anticipated SeaGlass carousel ride; and a remarkable new Battery Playspace, designed by Frank Gehry.
For a full guide of the NY400 and Harbor Day events and other information, including hours and directions, visit www.nyc.gov or call 311.
Stu Loeser / Andrew Brent (Mayor) (212) 788-2958
Floris van Hövell (Royal Netherlands Embassy & Consulate General) (202) 413-5020
Marjan Inbar (NY400) (646) 643-5913
Andrea Schwan (The Battery Conservancy) (212) 924-1033
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