Newsletters

From time to time the Waterfront Center e-mails newsletters.  The most recent will be posted here.  If you wish to receive these newsletters by e-mail please send your e-mail address to mail@waterfrontcenter.org with a request to be added to the newsletter e-mail list.  To be sure that the newsletter is not blocked by spam filters, add the Waterfront Center e-mail address to your e-mail address book.

A Tribute to Ann Breen

In the River Action Inc. Eddy Magazine

October 2017 Newsletter

Urban Waterfronts 33
January 25-27, 2018, Yuma Arizona
Plan to join us for this waterfront gathering. Full details and registration available on line HERE
Postcard from Seattle 
Pike Place Market's Splendid New Addition
     Quoting from the dust jacket of the book, The Pike Place Market: People, Politics, and Produce by Alice Shorett and Murray Morgan: "The market is Seattle's favorite institution. Annually it draws more people than do sporting events or cultural events or the movies. Among American markets, it has a reputation comparable to those of Les Halles in Paris and Covent Garden in London. The difference is that it has survived." This book published in 1982 is a remarkable history of the area but also the story of how people fought hard to save the market from urban renewal and succeeded. It can still be purchased through Amazon along with another called The Soul of the City by the same authors to mark the centennial of the market. A trip to Seattle always includes a trek to this fabulous and funky rabbit warren of a Market. 
     For those who have never been these photos will give a hint of the flavor of the beloved place including the famous fishmongers who throw the fish around and but one of the many fruit and vegetable stalls.
 
Pike Place Market
     Our main reason for going this trip was to see the new addition first hand. Dubbed MarketFront, this $74 million addition has given residents and visitors - for the first time - a chance to step outside and relish the vistas of the Puget Sound and Elliot Bay with the mountains behind as well the new Ferris wheel on the waterfront. The addition was designed by Miller Hull of Seattle. Miller Hull won a 2004 Excellence on the Waterfront Honor Award for Northwest Maritime Demonstration Dock in Port Townsend. For more detailed information on the MarketFront see HERE.
 

MarketFront Top Deck

     The big metal piggy bank has long been a landmark of the Market. Shown below are the original sculpture as well as the new one. Obviously a popular photo op. There are slots to contribute to the Pike Place Market Foundation. And the little "hoofprints" memorialize donors.
 

           Old Pig                                                                       New Pig                        
                                            
Along that same vein of paying tribute to contributors is a the very clever "Charm Fence." The circular charms shimmer, inscribed with donor names, shine and dance in the wind making delightful patterns on the paving.
 
 

Charm Fence
      The top deck has a handsome glassed in area to house market stalls while affording gorgeous views. Wide steps along the front provide a great place to eat a sandwich or just enjoy the warm October sun as Dick is doing. 

 
Top Deck Glassed In Area                               Dick Enjoying the Sun

    Enhancing the whole experience is a rooftop garden with a variety of grasses and plants.
 

Rooftop Garden                                                   Rooftop Planting

     Murals celebrating the fruits and veggies add a whimsical, colorful touch.
 

Roofto p Murals                                                   Mural Details

     The new addition as seen from two vantage points. One showing the old neon signage and shelter on the street and the other shows entrance to parking garage with 300 new spaces.
 

                  Old Neon Sign                                    Entrance to Parking Garage         

First Hand News from Detroit
     This news just in from our board member and Detroit boosterHarriet Saperstein. Rather than paraphrase I quote her here.  

     "On October 16, Detroit REAL (Riverfront East Alliance)"closed out" its organization, by using their remaining bank-account funds to make a contribution to the Riverfront Conservancy, and in turn they have posted a permanent plaque on a tree along the Riverwalk.
 
     Since REAL won a well-deserved Clearwater Award in 2003 from the Waterfront Center, I thought you might want to know about this closure and this very brief update on some of the activities underway. I do not think we would be where we are today without REAL's community organizing and support." 

     Pictured below are Carol Weisfeld and Dan Wiest and a group photo including Harriet (in the red shirt) and her husband Al in the red hat.
 

Carol Weisfeld and Dan Wiest                                      REAL Group Photo   
           
     "Just a few of those involved in the early days could attend, but two of the crucial founding members, Carol Weisfeld and Dan Wiest, had prepared some materials and brought a bit of sparkling cider to toast and say farewell to the project, and to celebrate its success. We do not have casinos on the riverfront; we do have an effective responsive public/private Detroit Riverfront Conservancy; Milliken State Park (expanding and improving St. Aubin Park and Marina) is in place and may be expanding; the Dequindre Cut, a bicycle-pedestrian rail/trail conversion now connects the Riverfront to Eastern Market all the way to Mack Avenue (with hopes that it will go further); Lafayette Park's Miles van der Rohe housing is protected as a Historic District; extensive new housing is underway in the East Riverfront area! In addition, plans with extensive community input are underway for further park connections eastward to Belle Isle, (including a "Beach"), and (at last!) new possibilities for controlled and responsible community oriented developments are being planned for the West Riverfront, now that the massive Newspaper "printing plant" is gone!" 

     Note that the the Detroit Conservancy won an Honor Award in 2015 from the Waterfront Center.
EXCELLENCE ON THE WATERFRONT AWARDS DEADLINE
JULY 16, 2018

Donna Walcavage, principal, Stantec, New York will be the jury chair.
Details and entry forms will be posted on the Website later this year.

Mid August 2017 Newsletter

Program and Speakers Finalized 
 September 8 Awards Ceremony and Mini-Conference
 The Waterfront Center’s 30th Annual Excellence on the Waterfront
Awards Conference, Ceremony, Reception and Gala Dinner
Friday, September 8, 2017
Awards Conference The Churchill Hotel , 1914 Connecticut Ave. NW
Gala Dinner, 2101 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.
Program
1:00 Registration
1:30 Welcome Remarks 
1: 45 Demonstration of the Excellence on the Waterfront Interactive Database
        Stewart McKenzie, Webmeister, The Waterfront Center

2:00 About Urban Waterfronts 2018, the Center’s 33rd Annual International Conference in Yuma, Arizona
 
2:30 Announcement of 2017 Excellence on the Waterfront Honor Awards with presentations by the winners about their projects. 
       William Wenk, principal, William Wenk Associates, Denver, Colorado, jury chair presiding 
2017 Awards and Presenters
Clearwater Citizen Award
• Mike Houck, executive director, Urban Greenspace Institute, Portland, Oregon. Presenting: Steve Durrant, Alta Planning + Design, Portland, Oregon
Honor Awards - Projects
• Infra-Space 1, Boston, Massachusetts. 
Presenting:  Dan Adams, Landing Studio, Somerville, Massachusetts
• Light City, Baltimore, Maryland. 
Presenting:  Ashley Molese and Kathy Hornig, Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts 
• Old Mill District, Bend, Oregon. Bend
Presentng:  Carol Mayer-Reed, Mayer-Reed Inc., Portland, Oregon
• Point State Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 
Presenting:  Marion Pressley, Pressley Associates Inc., Boston, Massachusetts 
• Principal Riverwalk Pavilion, Des Moines, Iowa. 
Invited: Pam Cooksey, City of Des Moines Engineering Department, Des Moines, Iowa
• Phyllis J. Tilley Memorial Bridge, Fort Worth, Texas
 Presenting: Nadia Westcott, Rosales + Partners,  Boston, Massachusetts
Honor Awards - Plans
• Master Plan for the Burlington Beach Regional Waterfront Park.  
Presenting:  Cal Brook, Brook McIlroy, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
• Tar River Legacy Plan, Greenville. North Carolina.  
Presenting: Ron Sessoms, Rhodeside & Harwell, Alexandria 
TOP HONOR - PROJECT
• Big River Crossing, Memphis, Tennessee
Presenting: Virginia McLean, Friends For Our Riverfront and Representative Steve Cohen, Memphis, Tennessee
6:30    Champagne Reception
8:00     Gala Dinner honoring the 2017 Winners and the 30th Anniversary of the Awards Program
ANNOUNCING
URBAN WATERFRONTS 2018
The 33rd International Conference
on Waterfront Planning Development and Culture
 January 25-27, 2018, Yuma, Arizona, Hilton Gardens Hotel
 Preconference Workshop – Thursday January 25
Conference – January 26-27
Sponorsored by
The Waterfront Center
And
Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area

Early August 2017 Newsletter

Announcing the 2017 Award Winners!

    The Waterfront Center is pleased to announce the winners of the 30th Annual Excellence on the Waterfront Awards program. As usual there is a range of geography and type of project. We are looking forward to an exciting awards ceremony and program at the Churchill Hotel in Washington, D.C. Visit HERE for more information and sign-up forms. 
    CAPE MAY, New Jersey – The 2017 ‘EXCELLENCE ON THE WATERFRONT’ awards program, organized by the non-profit Waterfront Center of Washington, District of Columbia., for the past 30 years, recognized seven built projects and two plans. The jury, led by  Bill Wenk of Wenk Associates, Denver, Colorado, met for a day-and-a-half at Congress Hall in this seaside resort.
    Winners will be recognized at an Awards Ceremony on September 8 in Washington, District of Columbia, followed by a reception and dinner. Each entrant will be given 20 minutes to describe their entry, usually with a power point illustration.
 
BIG RIVER CROSSING’ IN MEMPHIS
RECEIVES 2017 TOP HONOR AWARD

 • Big River Crossing, submitted by Friends of Our River, Memphis, Tennessee. Entrant: Charles McVean, McVean Trading and Investments LLC, and co-entrant, Harry Pratt, Allen & Hosall, both Memphis.
Owner/developer Robert Knecht, City of Memphis, and Paul Luker, Crittenden County,  Arkansas.

Honor Awards/Projects in alphabetical order.

• Infra-Space 1, Boston, Massachusetts. Submitted by Dan Adams and Marie Law Adams, Landing Studio, Somerville, Massachusetts., and Robin Blatt-Eisengart, Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Boston.
• Light City, Baltimore, Maryland. Submitted by Ashley Molese, Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, and Bill Cole, Baltimore Development Corporation, both Baltimore.
• Old Mill District, Bend, Oregon. Submitted by Bill Smith, Old Mill District, Bend, and Carol Mayer-Reed, Mayer-Reed Inc., Portland, both Oregon.
• Point State Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Submitted by Marion Pressley, Pressley Associates Inc., Boston, Massachusetts, and John P. Jaskolka, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources,  Prospect, Pennsylvania.
• Principal Riverwalk Pavilion, Des Moines, Iowa. Submitted by Paul Mankins, substancearchitecture (cq), and Pam Cooksey, City of Des Moines Engineering Department, both Des Moines, Iowa.
• Phyllis J. Tilley Memorial Bridge, Fort Worth, Texas, Submitted by Miguel Rosales, Rosales + Partners,  Boston, Massachusetts., and Stacey Pierce, Streams and Valleys, Fort Worth, Texas.

Honor Awards/Plans, in alphabetical order

 • Master Plan for the Burlington Beach Regional Waterfront Park.  Submitted by Cal Brook, Brook McIlroy, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and Stirling L. W. Todd, The Regional Municipality of Halton, Oakville, Ontario, Canada
• Tar River Legacy Plan, Greenville. North Carolina.  Submitted by Ron Sessoms, Rhodeside & Harwell, Alexandria, Lamarco Morrison, City of Greenville Recreation and Parks, Greenville, North Carolina.

                                                           Clearwater Award

• Mike Houck, Urban Green Spaces Institute, Portland, Oregon
 2017 Jury
 • Bill Wenk,  principal, Wenk Associates, Denver, Colorado.
• Thomas Corcoran, president (retired), Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
• Phillip Musegass, vice president, programs and litigation, Potomac Riverkeeper Network, Washington, District of Columbia
• Donna Walcavage, principal, Stantec, New York, New York
• Michael Zaleski, president and CEO, Riverfront Recapture Inc., Hartford, Connecticut.
Urban Waterfronts 2018:

Water: The Defining Force – Challenges for the 21st Century

33rd Annual International Conference
on Urban Waterfront Planning
January 25 -27, 2018
Hilton Garden Inn and Convention Center
Yuma, Arizona
    We are working full speed ahead with our colleagues in Yuma to put together a dynamite Urban Waterfront 2018, the 33rd gathering of those involved in waterfront work. A printed brochure will be mailed in early September and more detailed information will be posted on both the Waterfront Center's and Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area's web sites soon thereafter.

July 2017 Newsletter

 The Waterfront Center 
30th Annual Excellence on the Waterfront
Mini-Conference, Awards Ceremony and Reception 
Friday, September 8, 2017
1:30 – 7:00 p.m.
The Churchill Hotel
1914 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.
    Friday afternoon attendees at the mini-conference will hear presentations by the 2017 award winners. The winners will be announced on the Center’s web site in August and the list of speakers posted. They will receive their awards and be feted at a champagne reception at 6:00 p.m. Bill Wenk, Wenk Associates, Denver, Colorado, this year’s jury chair, will preside. Fee will include conference attendance and the reception.
Gala Dinner Honoring the 2017 Winners 
and Celebrating the 30th  Anniversary of the Awards Program
7:30 p.m.
2101 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.
    The Optional Gala Dinner, always a convivial evening will include a delicious multi-course meal with wine and champagne toasts. 
Sign up form for the Mini-Conference and Gala Dinner found HERE

Sign up form for the Mini-Conference, Gala Dinner, Publicity, and Donation found HERE

 Leaf Litter:"Restoring Ecology on the Urban Waterfront"
    Leaf Litter, the electronic newsletter produced by the firm Biohabitats  has just published a must read issue for anyone involved in waterfront planning, development and culture. The newsletter can be seen HERE.
    The issue is chock full of ideas about sustainability and the public realm along the water's edge and is amply and  beautifully illustrated. (The entire issue is full of good information but most interesting for our readers will probably be the the case examples which include extensive information.)
    The Waterfront Seattle Program including the very innovative Seawall Project and shoreline walkways.
Seattle Seawall transparent panels in walkway
Allow light to pass to water below
Seattle Shoreline Walkway

 
Seattle Shoreline Walkway
    Toronto's waterfront efforts including storm water and shoreline restoration efforts including the handsome WaveDecks that take people out over the water and created fish habitats using root ball, logs and other shelter producing materials. 
Toronto Waterfront Wavedeck
Toronto Waterfront Wavedeck
    Baltimore has never rested on its laurels and has made great ecological strides through the installation of floating wetlands, upgrading the Aquarium's campus, including introduction of underwater habitats, Biohuts. And of course there is the Excellence on the Waterfront top honor winner, the Water Wheel.
Baltimore Floating Wetlands
Baltimore Floating Wetlands
    Detroit continues its decades-old efforts to reclaim the riverfront (Excellence on the Waterfront award-winner in 2014. In keeping with the other cities described above, the city has joined the resiliency bandwagon and is restoring riparian wetlands, installing soft shoreline, reclaiming wetlands and provided public realm.
Detroit Waterfront Restoration

Detroit Milliken State Park
    Ann Breen was approached by editor, Amy Nelson, and had a delightful morning being interviewed by her. She generously profiled the Center and our work. Part of this profile discusses our upcoming conference in Yuma see below.
See the Waterfront Center profile HERE
 Urban Waterfronts 2018
The 33rd Annual International Conference on Waterfront Planning, Development and Culture
 sponsored by
The Waterfront Center and Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area
January 27-29, 2018
Yuma, Arizona
      Not your everyday waterfront conference venue as some have noted, but we are very excited about gathering the waterfront world  in Yuma at the Hilton Gardens Inn and Pivot Point Conference Center hard by the Colorado River. 
    We are busy assembling our speakers for two concurrent panels that will run Friday and Saturday morning. 
The conference will be bookended by keynote speakers and we will conclude Friday afternoon with a taste of the Excellence on the Waterfront Award Winners. 
    A pre-conference event will start on Wednesday evening with a get-acquainted dinner in a converted, historic church and Thursdays offerings include: Briefing and Walking Tour of  Gateway Park and the Yuma East Wetlands, a 400-acre wetlands restoration which is considered a model for restoration in the desert Southwest; a Tour of the Yuma West Wetlands, a 110-acre riverfront park converted from the City’s landfill! and a visit to the Imperial Dam, an engineering marvel where nearly 90% of the remaining water in the Colorado River is diverted, mostly to California.
    Details and registration will be placed on our website in the near future. 

June 2017 Newsletter

June 30, 2017 - 
Excellence on the Waterfront Awards Deadline
 Three Weeks to Go!!!

    Still plenty of time to get your entry or re-entry in the mail. Go to our website HERE to download the forms. 

    Award recipients are recognized on our website in several ways including the interactive database that now features 400+ winners - a waterfront researchers dream tool. 

    Winners are featured in an attractive, illustrated booklet, in press releases and honored at the half-day mini-conference, September 8 and a gala dinner that evening. See below for information and sign up.

   Many of our winners get picked up in magazines and newspapers. Of note in the May 2017 Landscape Architecture Magazine is a major feature on 2012 top honor winner: Jellicoe Street North Waterfront Promenade and Silo Park by Gweneth Leigh (pp 89-105). 
Jellicoe Street, North Wharf Promenade and Silo Park
The Baltimore Trash Eater
     On the lighter side, the cartoon "Arctic Circle" by Alex Hallett depicts our 2015 distinctive top honor winner: Baltimore's Water Wheel. 
Baltimore's Water Wheel, 2015 top honor winner                                              Alex Hallatt's cartoon published in the Boston Globe                               
 
 The Waterfront Center
30th Annual Excellence on the Waterfront
Mini-Conference, Awards Ceremony and Reception
 Friday, September 8, 2017
1:30 – 7:00 p.m.
The Churchill Hotel
1914 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, D.C.
    Friday afternoon attendees at the mini-conference will hear presentations by the 2017 award winners. The winners will be announced on the Center’s web site in August and the list of speakers posted. They will receive their awards and be feted at a champagne reception at 6:00 p.m. Bill Wenk, principal, Wenk Associates, Inc., Denver, Colorado, this year’s jury chair, will preside. Fee includes conference attendance and the reception.


Gala Dinner Honoring the 2017 Winners and Celebrating the Center’s 30th Awards Program
 
7:30 p.m.
2101 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, D.C.
    The Optional Gala Dinner, a festive evening of meeting up with old friends and making new ones, will include a delicious multi-course meal with wine and champagne toasts. The event takes place in an historic apartment building built in 1928, within a very short walk from the Churchill Hotel.
    Sign up form for the Mini-Conference, Awards Ceremony and Reception can be found HERE.

May 2017 Newsletter

 Waterfront Center Celebrates 36th Birthday
and the 30th Annual Awards Program
33rd Annual International Conference

    The Waterfront Center was founded on May 1, 1981, almost 4 decades ago and we pause to thank everyone who has supported us over all these years. Plus we want to also acknowledge the people from all over the globe we have met at our conferences and in our consulting practice. We hope many of you will join us in Yuma, Arizona for our 33rd international conference on waterfront planning, development and culture, January 25-27, 2018. Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area is the co-sponsor. 
    Urban Waterfronts 33: WATER: The Defining Force - Challenges for the 21st Century will be headquartered at the Hilton Garden Inn and Conference Center. A block of rooms has been set aside at the rate of $139. The hotel overlooks the Colorado River and has a pool. An optional all-day pre-conference workshop will  also be offered Thursday January 25.
     The Excellence on Waterfront Awards Program was initiated in 1987 to recognize top quality waterfront projects and plans. This year's ceremony/mini-conference, reception and gala dinner will take place September 8 at the Churchill Hotel in Washington, D.C. Details will soon be featured on the website. We will plan a special gala in honor of the program's 30th anniversary. 
The deadline for submittals: postmarked June 30, 2017
Websites of Note
    Recently on Planetizen's site I noted a job opening of possible interest to waterfront folk: Director of Planning at Boston Harbor Now. (employment@bostonharbornow.org). Boston Harbor Now is a relatively new non-profit bringing together two long-standing non-profits: Boston Harbor Islands and The Boston Harbor Association. Kathy Abbott is the executive director. Their address is 15 State Street, #1100 Boston, Mass. 02109.
     Interested in city news? Check out newsletter@nextcity.org and you'll find lots of tidbits.
 Waterfront Center Board Member News
David Benn sent this along: The partners and principals of Cho Benn Holback + Associates are pleased to announce that we are joining the acclaimed architectural firm of QuinnEvans Architects, effective May 1. Established in 1984, Quinn Evans is known for its award-winning civic, cultural, educational, and commercial building portfolio, with particular expertise in historic preservation and community revitalization. CBH+A will operate as Cho Benn Holback, a Quinn Evans Company, and we will remain in our N. Charles Street office.

 
Fran Hegeler has joined SWA Group as corporate director of marketing and communications in their Bay Area office. Fran has served on our board from when she worked for Wallace Roberts and Todd in Philadelphia and later when she joined AECOM in San Francisco. She can be reached at fhegeler@swagroup.org.

Al Copp and Dick Wagner - in Memoriam
    I am sad to report the waterfront world has lost two more stalwarts. We honor their lengthy careers dedicated to waterfronts.
 Al Copp
    Al Copp  was a major figure with a distinguished waterfront career in Baltimore working as a planner and president of the Charles Center-Inner Harbor Corporation.More recently he was a serious winemaker. His wife, Laurie Schwarz, is head of the Waterfront Partnership and was on hand to get the top honor for the Water Wheel. See obituary HERE
 Dick Wagner
    Dick Wagner, founder of the Center for Wooden Boats on Lake Union in Seattle, was a real pioneer in maritime education and wooden boats - their use and the craft of building them. The Center's educational programming was far-reaching.  See Dick's obituary HERE. He and his wife received a well-deserved Clearwater Award. Go HERE and enter Wooden Boats into the search box for more detail.

Late April 2017 Newsletter

 Important Marches Coming Up
Saturday, April 22 Earth Day and March for Science
Saturday, April 29, People's Climate March
    Earth Day and March for Science are joining forces for events all around the country. We are hoping many of you will turn out in your community/region or here in Washington where a  monumental crowd could well assemble. 
    We received notice from the Environmental Defense Fund and the Adirondack Council to join them on April 29. To register visit: edf.org/climatemarch or call 800 684 3322. Looks like there will be events not just in Washington but throughout the country.
 BOSTON - Plans Afoot for "Jawdropping Park"
 Our good friend Charlotte DeWitt from Boston sent us this link about plans for major new public space around the harbor. Boston was one of the early pioneers in the waterfront phenomenon and they just keep on rolling on. A non-profit group Trustees of the Reservations plans to spearhead this ambitious project.
 BALTIMORE - Light City
     Baltimore, another of those pioneering waterfront cities, just staged a nine-day Festival of Light, Music and Innovation (March 31-April 8). So when the aforesaid Charlotte emailed that she wanted us join her in Charm City to experience the festival, how could we resist.
Charlotte DeWitt
 BALTIMORE - Light City
    We were only able to get a very small taste of this highly ambitious event now in its second year. Commissioned artworks by artists from around the world could be found mostly along the ART WALK around and near the Inner Harbor. Of course there was food, drink, music, stuff for children, educational programming and loads and loads of people. The real magic begins as darkness falls and the interplay of light and water comes fully to life. However pieces like this one installed around the pedestrian bridge between the Piers 3 & 4 by Belgian artist Tom Dekyvere using illuminated nylon fabric was awesome even in daylight, but after dark it was spellbinding especially with the music accompaniment. It reminded me of "cat's cradle" (remember that childhood game?) on steroids.
String sculpture by Belgian artist Tom Dekyvere
Light Boats
 'NEW WATER MUSIC'
Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana
    Ever ones to try a little waterfront adventure --  when we spotted a notice of a "nautical visual presentation" of composer Yotam Haber's "New Water Music" to occur Saturday evening April 8 we ventured to an area of New Orleans we had never been to. Thousands were on hand to witness the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and hundreds of musicians perched on a flag-bedecked rusting old barge and several tents along the shoreline play the haunting piece. Lots of flags, headdresses, colorful sashes and costumes rounded out the scene.
One of the many musicians arrives for the performance
Orchestra leader conducts from a perch high above the water
    Decorated shrimp boats were hired to perform a "ballet."
Part of the Shrimp Boat Ballet
    The non-profit New Orleans Airlift artistic director Delaney Martin oversaw this unusual production. 
    An intriguing installation of fishing nets hanging from the underside of an overhead highway provided visual interest plus play space for kids and backdrops for selfies.
Ghosts
     A number of exhibits were set up by non-profit groups involved in coastal/environmental/working waterfront issues. Nearby food trucks and bar were jammed. Our only quibble with this truly unusual undertaking was that the crowds were partying (hey its New Orleans) a bit much, drowning out the ability to really hear the music as we imagine it was meant to be heard. We only hope the event was recorded and could be played on a big screen somewhere. 
    Not sure what King George I who commissioned Handel's Water Music would have thought or whether the folks who flocked to the banks of Thames in 1717 were rowdy as well.
EXCELLENCE ON THE WATERFRONT AWARDS DEADLINE JUNE 30, 2017
See HERE for details and entry forms

April 2017 Newsletter

 Important Earth Day Coming Up - Saturday, April 22
    A double header is in the offing up and it's not baseball. Earth Day and March for Science are joining forces for events all around the country. We are hoping many of you will turn out in your community/region or here in Washington where a  monumental crowd could well assemble. It may well be the women's march squared and that was unforgettable. 
    Trump's budget and related actions are disastrous for all of us who cherish environmental values and sound waterfront planning, development and culture. An historical footnote: When Dick and I worked for Dept. of Commerce/NOAA/Coastal Zone back in the day we wrote booklet called "Improving Your Waterfront: A Practical Guide" published in 1980. We compiled information on some 28 federal programs that offered assistance to localities and we know that waterfronts all across the national availed themselves of some of these grants and loans. Many of these programs/agencies face elimination or severe cutbacks. Very often the imprimatur of receiving a federal grant helped  generate other sources of revenue. We need to try to save as much as we can. Let your voices be heard. At the end of this blast is a portion of a letter we wrote to a Washington Post reporter about the value of National Endowment for the Arts.*
Philadelphia's Waterfront - Patience Pays
 As a native Philadelphian, when we first started the Center in 1981 and visited the waterfront there, I have to admit,  the experience was less than wonderful. It was severed from the downtown by 17 lanes of highway (talk about an obstacle!) and Penn's Landing bunker-like architecture and detailing lacked luster.
    Apart from ambitious programming that breathed life to it on weekends, little occurred. But in the past ten years or so things began to stir. In 2007 the University of Pennsylvania's PennPraxis produced a series of forums and published a Civic Vision for the Central Delaware that received a Clearwater award from us. In 2008 the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation published a Master Plan for the Central Delaware. The Corporation also recently invested in three Excellence on the Waterfront award-winning gems: Morgan's Pier, WinterFest and Spruce Street Harbor Park which have all been featured in past newsletters. You can check these projects out on our interactive database HERE

    Now after decades of lagging behind, the waterfront is poised for a huge breakthrough. I feel as if there should be a big drum roll: Mayor Kenney recently announced a $90 million plan to cover the highways between Walnut and Chestnut Streets and create a $225 million park. The 3-year construction is scheduled to start in 2020. Philadelphia will at long last gain a beautiful centerpiece park and a literal toe hold on the Delaware River!
 Penn's Landing park capping
Camden - Prison to Public Realm Plus Much More
    Across the river from downtown Philly, sits the Camden riverfront which had a waterfront park back in the '80s, an aquarium, kids play area, a ferry and a battleship museum. It also had - along with many other waterfronts - a state prison.
Former New Jersey State Prison in Camden NJ
      In 2009, the prison buildings were torn down to make way for a four-acre park which the State Economic Development Authority will undertake. 
This park is only a small part of the picture: EDA president also said the agency wants to take advantage of recent developments: a groundbreaking for the new American Water headquarters, under construction; the Liberty development, which includes proposed housing, restaurants, and a hotel; and a proposal last week by three major South Jersey firms, including the insurance brokerage Conner Strong Buckelew, to build a $245 million office complex there. So there are big things in the works on both sides of the river! 
 Excellence on the Waterfront Awards Deadline: June 30, 2017
Go HERE for details and entry forms
Waterfront Center Indebted to NEA - a Bit of History
      While NEA is the most popularly known for its funding: theater, fine and applied art, literature, film, dance, opera, orchestras and the like -- all of which are very important to us as a nation.  BUT I don’t think people are aware what an extremely diversified mission it has had. This a very important point to drive home. The Center  is a case in point. Our mission is about urban planning, design and execution, helping communities and educating them about the tools they need to accomplish the complex and lengthy process of improving their waterfronts, balancing the economic, ecological, social, recreational and aesthetic considerations.
    The Waterfront Center was founded as a non-profit educational entity on May 1, 1981 -- 35 years ago and counting. Its mission has been -- and is still today -- to help communities make the wisest uses of their waterfront assets in the long-term public interest, through its varied programs.
    We owe a great debt to the NEA that funded three early projects of ours.

    Three grants ranging from $5,000-$7,500 grants from the Endowment served as critical seed money, affirmation and recognition in our formative years that enhanced our credibility nationally. The programs/research the Endowment funded have had long-term impacts as outlined below. Big bangs for little bucks!
 
      • The Waterfront Center’s Annual International Conference
  • Since 1983, the Waterfront Center has hosted the premier annual waterfront conference that has brought together thousands of attendees from all parts of the country/world who are interested in learning more about current practices and initiatives. What distinguishes the Center’s conferences is that the presenters and attendees are by and large practitioners -- the “doers” that make waterfront transformations happen. The Endowment funds assisted us in launching this meeting and the publication of the proceedings.
      • Excellence on the Waterfront Awards Program
  •  In 1987 with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Waterfront Center established the “Excellence on the Waterfront Awards Program.” This is the only awards program that recognizes top-quality waterfront work around the world. Over 400 projects, plans, citizen’s effort and student work have been recognized for their achievements.  The Waterfront Center is close finishing inputting all the annual award winners from the past years into a unique searchable database that is posted on its Web site and thus freely available to all.
      • Caution: Working Waterfront: the Impact of Change on Marine           Enterprises
      (The Waterfront Press: 1985) Ann Breen and Dick Rigby 
  • A third NEA grant helped support the research, writing and publishing of a monograph describing the importance of retaining what the authors’ termed the “working waterfront.” The issue is still very current where the pressure of the marketplace is driving up waterfront property values that threaten small marine enterprises such as boatyards, commercial fishing docks and marinas. A related advocacy stand of the Center is the felt importance of retaining, or interpreting, components of the industrial past, put to new uses if the industry has closed. Old gantry cranes and a host of other  artifacts have been incorporated in many waterfront redevelopments.

March 2017 Newsletter

Start to Make Your Plans
JOIN US IN YUMA, ARIZONA!
Hard by the Colorado River. 
    Last month co-directors Breen and Rigby travelled to Arizona to advance the meeting planned for next January. They conducted a community workshop there over twenty years ago and were amazed at the changes. Charlie Flynn, executive director of the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, our co-sponsor squired Ann and Dick around and they met with staff to begin lining up events for the meeting. They came away enthused about introducing  the waterfront community to a new part of the world.
 The Waterfront Center’s 33rd Annual International Conference
January 25-27, 2018.
In cooperation with the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area.
“Challenges for Waterfronts in the 21st Century: 
Too Much Water or Too Little?”
     The conference will feature two simultaneous tracks with 12 speakers each, plus opening reception, keynote presentations and conference luncheon. Lots of fun optional social events are being planned.  
Track One: Featuring the Colorado River’s issues past, present and future.  
Track Two: Featuring an array of speakers and topics covering the national and international urban waterfront scene.
    On Thursday, January 25 an optional workshop, will include an all-day in-depth briefing about Yuma’s amazing riverfront transformation and a field trip to the Imperial Dam passing through the vast areas where from November to March 90 percent of the country’s leafy greens, including lettuce, are harvested.
A glimpse of what you’ll see and learn about:
     East Wetlands Park, 400 acres cleared of invasive species and replaced since 2004 with over 200,000 cottonwood, willow and mesquite trees. Features a 3.5 mile hiking trail.
 Along the trail a glimpse of the historic Ocean to Ocean Bridge seen through the trees
    Sunrise Point Park, developed by the Quechan Indian Tribe, overlooks a restored marsh and 40 acres of native cottonwoods and willows.
From this vantage point you get a appreciation for the wide open spaces with the mountains in the distance.
    Pivot Point Interpretive Plaza, marking the exact spot where the first train entered the Arizona Territory in 1877. Features  a large steam locomotive. Preserves the concrete pivot on which a bridge turned to allow steamships to pass.

Pivot Point plaza gently slopes towards the river                                 Intrepretive signs explain the history of the area

 

1907 Baldwin Steam locomotive is located  on the exact spot where the first train entered the Arizona Territory in 1877
     West Wetlands Park, site of the former city dump, being converted into a 110-acre riverfront park, including a lake, boat launch, beaches, hummingbird garden and”Castle Park” built with design ideas of local children.
 
Couple enjoy a quite moment along the river in the West Wetlands Park                            Charlie and Dick take in one of the interpretive signs            
                                                                                                                      found in the outdoor environmental classroom
 

 
                      A picturesque lake attracts anglers, picnickers, sun worshipers                    “Castle Park” is a very popular gathering spot for families
and model boat enthusiasts among many                                                                                       

COME TO THE CONFERENCE - MAKE IT A HOLIDAY!
    Shake off the winter blues: Yuma is the sunniest spot in the U.S. – average January temperature: 70 degrees! 
Yuma is steeped in the history of the old West and lots more to see and learn about including: 

• Historic Quartermaster Depot is a beautifully landscaped state park with 19th Century adobe structures. The depot’s spacious storehouse will be the venue for our Friday Gala Dinner - a colorful Mexican feast with mariachi music.
 
                    
                                           Quartermaster Depot Grounds                                                                         Quartermaster Depot Wagon                                               
           
TheTerritorial Prison, state historic park opened in 1876 and housed over 3,000 prisoners. The stone-walled cell blocks will be the site of a special candlelit dinner Thursday night.
 
TheTerritorial Prison
 • Medjool Yuma Date Festival all day Saturday Jan. 27, 2018, on Main Street. Enjoy a delicious “date shake.”
• Saguinetti House, Museum and Gardens – 19th Century adobe home, historic site and gift shop downtown on Madison Ave.
 Saguinetti Gardens
 • Lutes Casino is Arizona’s oldest pool hall with eclectic décor and great southwestern bar food.
Lutes Casino
• Three National Wildlife Refuges can be found in the greater Yuma area.
Fish and Wildlife Refuges Near Yuma

 February 2017 Newsletter

"WATERFRONT EXCELLENCE"
1987 - 2016
Powerpoint presentation of the Top Honor Excellence on the Waterfront Award Winners


      The Center is pleased to announce that this powerpoint presentation with over 300 images of top honor winners selected by independent juries was featured at the WaterEdge Symposium in Auckland, New Zealand last November and is now able to be viewed on the Center's website HERE

    Special thanks to Stewart McKenzie for making this available to everyone. He is also the person behind our interactive database of close to all of the winners - to date a universe of well over 300. So, if you want to delve more deeply into any of the top winners or winners in general read the instructions HERE. The geography includes 16 foreign countries, six Canadian provinces and at least 33 states. This unique waterfront resource is freely available and we thank those friends of the Center who contributed to the projects.
 2017 Awards Deadline: June 30, 2017
 Waterfront Alliance Annual Conference
See Awards Entry Form HERE

 Measuring Our Harbor: Strong, Healthy and Open
May 7, 2017 - 9:00 to 5:00
Aboard Hornblower Infinity


    If you want to catch up on what's new in the New York region's waterfronts this is the meeting for you. For more information go to the Waterfront Alliance's website. Varied rates with an early bird at $120 that ends 3/15. Government and non-profit rate is $75. 
 Upper Mississippi River Conference


     River Action, Inc., an organization many of you may remember from our joint conference in the Quad Cities several years ago, held their annual meeting this past October to address issues raised by America's Watershed Initiative Report Card for the Mississippi River watershed. Participants at the meeting were challenged to come up with action items for each of the following goal areas:

    Ecosystems, Flood Control and Risk Reduction, Transportation, Water Supply, Economy, Watershed-wide indicators and Recreation. It should be noted that the Upper Mississippi basin received a grade C which was the highest of the River's sub-basins. This 10-page report outlines the priority objectives identified to "raise the grade." One action recognized by every sector was the need for education and outreach. An update on the Action Agenda will be given at the 2017 Upper Mississippi River Basin Conference. You can download the report from River Action's website.

Groundhog Day 2017 Newsletter

Happy Groundhog Day!
    Whether he sees his shadow or not, February 2 signals spring is not so far away which is always cause for a celebration
 Excellence on the Waterfront Awards DEADLINE
Postmarked by June 30, 2017. see website for details. 
 
2017 Awards Ceremony, Winning Presentation
and Gala Dinner
      We will hold the Awards Ceremony and Reception at The Churchill Hotel in Washington, D.C. September 8, 2017. An optional gala dinner will follow. Our 2016 attendees really enjoyed the 20-minute presentations by the winners to give more insights into their work so we will repeat this format. Details will be updated and posted. 
Postcard from the North of North Island, New Zealand
    Prior to joining up with the WaterEdge Symposium in Auckland last November,  co-directors Breen and Rigby were joined by long-time board member, Charley Norris who was game to drive us all on the wrong side of the road to re-visit places we had been to together over twenty years ago. We had fond memories of these towns and should your travels take you to this northern most part of the country we recommend visiting them as well as the fantastically beautiful Bay of Islands.

    Whangearei. our first stop, is located on the Hatea River and has a charming redeveloped Town Basin waterfront that is even nicer than it was on our first visit. Shops, cafes, bars and restaurants enliven the scene. One waterfront perch tempted us to stop for a pint of good Kiwi beer. 

                          Whangearei Waterfront                                                                     Charles Norris and Dick Rigby and a Kiwi Beer

     New to us was the expanded, extensive river walk that includes public art installations, interpretive signage and lovely plantings. One sees a group of warehouses behind park-like setting at the start of the walk close to town center. 

                        Warehouses Behind the Park                                                   Do's and Dont's on the River Walk

                 River Walk Sign                                                    River Walk Seat and Art Installation

    A new pedestrian bridge with sail-like shade structures makes a loop walk possible and doubles as a place to hold events like this Saturday Flea Market. 

Pedestrian Bridge                                                                                           Flea Market         

    En route to and from Whangarei we stopped at a very inviting Welcome Center. Not only did they have tons of tourist information and helpful people, there was a small shop, an indoor and outdoor cafe.
     The attractive restrooms had baby changing facility and a place to shower. Attention to detail is evident in this handsome red security gate and the etched glass roof celebrating the pongo or silver fern tree. Those fronds and tree trunks are actually steel sculptures.

          Restroom Door                                                                     Etched Glass Roof              

   Our other small town is the somewhat isolated Russell that is popular with tourists who flock by ferry from nearby Pahia. Back in the 1830s this peaceful, charming place was full of swashbuckling whalers and sealers with the reputation as the "Hell Hole of the Pacific." You'd never guess it now. We enjoyed our return to the Duke Of Marlborough restaurant expanded and much-refurbished. A terrific meal and view of the water were thoroughly enjoyed on a fine spring-like evening! Definitely worth the trip.

                     Russell Waterfront Beach                                                                                          Russell Main Street         

The Duke of Marlborough Hotel

 

January 2017 Newsletter

30th Annual Excellence on the Waterfront Awards Program

     The Center is pleased to announce that Bill Wenk, landscape architect and principal of William Wenk Associates Inc. of Denver, Colorado will be our 2017 jury chair.
    The deadline for submittals: postmarked June 30, 2017. Details, guidelines and application forms can be found HERE
    To learn about recent previous winners visit the website’s Awards page and the awards searchable interactive database where you can view hundreds  of winning projects and plans.
    Deliberations will take place at the end of July and winners will be notified in early August.

 

2016 Winter Solstice Newsletter

Winter Solstice Greetings

     Wishing everyone a happy turning of the year. Celebrate this day of little light with lots of candles and winter feasting today and in the coming weeks.  To all our waterfront colleagues and friends: a  very merry, happy holiday season!

December 31st Fast Approaches

   As you contemplate you year-end charitable donations, please keep the Center in mind. We have lots of exciting projects including 
    • The documentary, Waterfronts Re-Born; 
    • the interactive database on the website; 
    • the 30th (!) Annual Excellence on the Waterfront Awards Program; 
    • the 2018 33rd Annual International Conference on Waterfront Planning and Development in Yuma, January 26-27;
    • e-newsletters
    • and organizing and sorting the image and print archive. 

    We need your help to accomplish this important work as look forward to our 36th anniversary in May, 2017!! 

Thank you for you continued interest and support of the Center. 

Mid December 2016 Newsletter

Waterfronts Reborn Trailer Now on the Web Site

    The Trailer for the planned hour-long documentary film is now up on our web site. The 12-minute film executed by the documentary filmmaker Jon Dann features Buffalo Bayou in Houston, Texas in particular the new Buffalo Bayou Park. The Park received an Excellence on the Waterfront honor award this year, see HERE. The Center and the film team our currently considering 4-5 other cities as case studies for inclusion in the full length film and are actively fundraising. Waterfronts Reborn will soon have its own page to encourage donations and keep you updated. Pictured below is a portion of the walkway with the imaginative night lighting that follows the moon phases from blue to white during each month. Note that these light fixtures can withstand the severe flooding the bayou withstands.

 Buffalo, New York Rejuvenation
    If you don't already subscribe to City Links, we recommend it as a good source of urban information. HERE is a  link to a recent very upbeat story.
We absolutely love the idea that embraced the old silos rather than tear them down. So many cities over the years have destroyed them. Bravo! 

     Co-director Breen recalls going on waterfront business in 1979 and hearing the then mayor talk about his vision for the waterfront. Several plans and attempts to fulfill a waterfront dream over the years have occurred but it seems at last to have come true! Center awarded a plan "Horizons Waterfront Acton Plan" in 1993 and more recently in 2009 "Erie Canal Harbor Project." Visit the interactive database and enter Erie Canal into the Search button to learn more about the 2009 project.

Tis the Season!
    Ring, ring, ring in he joy of the season. Just a reminder to not forget the Center as you make your year-end donations.

    We appreciate any help you can give us. Wishing you and yours a joyous holiday! Below is a miniature waterfront scene that is part of Philadelphia's Morris Aboretum's extensive magical model train exhibit to delight children of all ages.

 33rd Annual International Conference
    The Waterfront Center is planning the 33rd Annual International Conference on Urban Waterfront Planning, Development and Culture on
 January 26 -27, 2018, Yuma, Arizona. 

    In collaboration with Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area."Challenges for the Waterfronts in the 21st Century: Too Much Water or Too Little?" Optional pre-conference workshop featuring Yuma Crossing, January 25. 
Conference headquarters: Hilton Garden Inn on the Riverfront.

Early December Newsletter

 Consider the Waterfront Center for Your Year-End Donations
     Between Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday I am sure you have been besieged. We would like to throw the Center's hat in the ring as you begin to think about your annual contributions to the non-profit world. 

    With so many projects ongoing, we need your help: 

• The Documentary Film - the trailer of Waterfronts Reborn will soon be on our website. We are beginning to fundraise for the hour-long version. 
• The Interactive Data Base of the Excellence on the Waterfront Award Winners - close to being finished. It is a unique resource freely available on our website. 
• The 30th Annual Excellence on the Waterfront Awards Program. Details will be available in January.  

Thank you in advance for any contribution. Send checks to:
The Waterfront Center
PO Box 53351
Washington, DC 20009
 Water Edge Symposium
Auckland, New Zealand
November 15-17, 2016

     Co-Directors Breen and Rigby ventured to Auckland for the Water Edge Symposium a few weeks ago. Our hosts from Panuku Development went all out to achieve a stimulating assembly of participants from around the world.

    The Waterfront Center was amply represented with Barry Hersh, Joel Mills, Charles Norris and Mke Krieger. We met old friends, made lots of new acquaintances and certainly broadened our knowledge about waterfronts.

Ann Breen                                                     Dick Rigby

Michael Krieger                                             Charles Norris

Joel Mills                                                       Barry Hersh

    Not only was it a productive meeting professionally, but Panuku also made sure we had a really fun time from the traditional Maori welcoming ceremony and festive, chef-prepared  lunch to the very special gala dinner complete with Maori dancers, a string quartet and a talented opera singer to entertain us. The food selections were outstanding. The Center premiered a powerpoint of the Excellence on the Waterfront top honor winners from 1987 - 2016 that ran continuously during the dinner and was well received. We plan to put this show up on our website so others can enjoy.

                                        The Waterfront Center Presentation                                        Dinner                                                                   

                              Maori Dancing                                                          Food                                                

 

November 2016 Newsletter

The Waterfront Center Co-sponsoring  Water Edge Symposium
Auckland, New Zealand November 15-17

    Ann Breen and Dick Rigby will be showing a powerpoint featuring the 50 top Excellence on the Waterfront top honor winners 1987-2016 at the wind-up gala dinner.

Excellence on the Waterfront Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner

    On October 21 all ten Excellence on the Waterfront award winners came to Washington to accept their awards and also made 20-minute presentations to an appreciative audience. They were feted at a festive gala dinner.

Mid October2016 Newsletter
29th Annual Excellence on the Waterfront Awards Events
October 21, 2016 - Churchill Hotel, Washington, DC

Visit HERE for details. There is still time to sign on and be part of an exciting meeting and awards ceremony.

 EPA's Office on Water Announces Grants
     EPA has awarded $1.3 million to 22 organizations in 18 states to revitalize urban waters and surrounding communities. Visit water headlines to learn more.
 Swimming Pools
     Summer may be over but some folks are busy planning ahead to increase swimming opportunities on their waterfronts.

    The Charles River Conservancy a non-profit based in Boston recently  raised $25,000 through the Indiegogo  crowdfunding campaign  to help install a permanent swimming pool in the Charles River.  See HERE for details

Charles River Pool
    The Brooklyn Bridge Park installed a highly popular pop-up pool on Pier 2. The pop-up will be continued for another season to allow time for the park to come up with a permanent facility. The article referenced The Floating Pool which was docked on the Brooklyn waterfront in 2007. It was the brainchild of one of our founding board members, Ann Buttenwieser who received an Excellence on the Waterfront honor award in 2007 for the project.

Brooklyn Bridge Park Popup Pool
     The Waterfront Alliance's September 30 Waterwire ran a article in their newsletter about ambitious plans to install large water filtering pools in the river to give New Yorkers plenty of chances to jump in. The project, +POOL was conceived by Ding-Ping Wong who hopes that within four years  the concept can  be fully tested, the funds raised and come into being realized.

    They are currently fundraising through Kickstarter.

Waterwire +Pool
 John Belle
1932-2016

John Belle
     We were saddened to learn of the recent death of a great supporter of the Waterfront Center. Not only did he generously support our conferences, he spoke at a number of them and received four Excellence on the Waterfront Honor awards including Top Honor for the restoration of the Roebling Bridge/ Delaware Aqueduct in 1990.

The Roebling Bridge/ Delaware Aqueduct
     He was a partner in the New York firm, Beyer Blinder Belle noted for their preservation, restoration and contextual designs. In 1991 the firm received an honor award for their work on the Ellis Island Museum of Immigration.

Ellis Island Museum of Immigration
     In 1995 the New York State Canal Recreationway plan was recognized and in 1998 the firm received honors for a Governors Island Land Use Study.

New York State Canal Recreationway

Governors Island Land Use Study
     Visit the interactive data base to learn more about all these projects The firm's work on Grand Central Station was universally praised. John Belle was an unassuming and very gentle soul. We were privileged to have known him.

Grand Central Station
 Bing Thom
1941-2016

Bing Thom
     We were equally sorry to hear of the Hong Kong-born Canadian architect, Bing Thom's death earlier this month. Anyone who has visited Washington and ventured down to Arena stage in recent years has seen how he transformed the theater complex into a breathtaking landmark that virtually doubled the space. And for those of us who love river views, the enormous windows in the lobby area enable visitors to gaze out over Washington Channel.

Arena Stage Windows
     Bing Thom's firm won two honor awards from the Center. In 1990 the beautifully designed False Creek Yacht Club/Anderson's Wharf is very nearly in the waterfront as the building is cleverly located tucked under a bridge in downtown Vancouver. 

False Creek Yacht Club
    Bing Thom, another genial soul was on hand at the conference in  2005 to receive his award for the Trinity River Uptown Plan for Fort Worth, Texas.

Trinity River Uptown Plan

 

Late September 2016 Newsletter

 FOUR WEEKS TO GO!
29th Annual Excellence on the Waterfront
Mini-Conference, Awards Ceremony and Reception
Friday, October 21, 2016
1:00 – 7:30 p.m.
The Churchill Hotel
1914 Connecticut Ave. NW,Washington, D.C.
     All ten Honor Award winners will be on hand to receive their awards and make presentations. Go HERE to check out the program  and sign up. It is a real bargain at $50.00 and includes the reception.
    Gala Dinner Celebration in Honor of 2016 Winners and the Center's 35th Anniversary. This optional event is described on the website and promises to be a exciting evening. Dinner at 8:00. 2101 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC.
 Indianapolis Uses Creativity to Focus on It's Waterways 
     Indianapolis through the Center for Urban Ecology and public artist Mary Miss/City as Living Laboratory has launched a terrific program that merges sciences and the arts to foster understanding and appreciation of the six waterways running through the city including the White River. Some of you may remember Mary Miss who made a presentation at our annual conference in 2011 in New York.Her  work is also integral to Honor Award Winners: 
 South Cove in Battery Park City (1993)
Historic Third Ward Riverwalk in Milwaukee (2005).
Visit her website:  marymiss.com to learn about extensive career and work.
    Visit Streamlines.org to learn more about the Indianapolis  program that engages the public through visual arts; dance/movement; poetry and music to peek people's interest and curiosity about the many aspects of improving their waterways and engage in the science of water systems. Many events are held to engage the community. 
 Chicago's New Riverwalk to Get Addition:The Jetty
    An ambitious six-block portion of the Riverwalk along the Chicago River designed by Sasaki and Ross Barney Architects won an honor award this year and the project will be presented October 21 at our mini-conference.
      An exciting innovation will be part of the addition called the Jetty to be opened in October. Underwater structures designed to provide fish habitat were inspired by similar features constructed in the Port of Rotterdam and made possible by a $175,00 grant from the Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Besides the Sasaki fish-focused features, submergent wetlands will be incorporated and attract birds and insects.
 

Mid September 2016 Newsletter

HEAR FIRST HAND FROM OUR 2016 AWARD WINNERS! Friday, October 21, 2016
1:30 – 7:00 p.m.
The Churchill Hotel
1914 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, D.C.

     Attendees at the 29th annual Excellence on the Waterfront Awards ceremony and program are in for a very informative and festive mini-conferenc - at a bargain rate - $50.00 including the awards reception. Go to www.waterfrontcenter.org to see a line-up of our stellar speakers and sign-up information.

    Information on the optional Gala Dinner that evening celebrating the 2016 honorees as well as the Waterfront Center's 35th Anniversary can be found there as well. We will be debuting the trailer for the planned documentary film "Waterfronts Reborn" during the evening. Filmmaker Jonathan Dann will be on hand. 

Jon Dann on location in Houston on the banks of the Buffalo Bayou, subject of the trailer.  

 

HOTEL SPECIAL RATE CUT-OFF IS SEPTEMBER 19. 
NOTE: previous communications gave wrong phone number. It has been corrected below.


    We have blocked a number of rooms at the hotel from October 20 - 23 at special rate of $169 s/d or $189 for Jr. Suite. The cutoff is September 19. Make your  reservations directly with hotel to make sure we get credit towards the block: 202 797 2000 and mention you are with The Waterfront Center. The rooms have been recently renovated.   

Thanks again to our 2016 Jury shown here hard at work.
Left to right: Werner Plessl, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; Kim Mathews, New York, NY; Ray Gastil Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Jury Chair, Charlie Flynn, Yoma, Arizona. 


 9TH ANNUAL UPPER MISSISSIPPI RIVER CONFERENCE
"Raising the Grade"
October 13-14, 2016
Moline, Illinois

    Our friends at River Action are doing it again. Two days of a fulsome program dealing with a wide variety of watershed issues. And the annual catfish fry is always fun! Conference Hotel: Radisson in Moline and conference is at the iWireless Center a close walk to the hotel. Contact: riveraction.org/umrc for more details and registration. 

 

Early September 2016 Newsletter

Jane Thompson 1927 - 2016
    The waterfront and design worlds have lost one of their bright lights. Jane had a rich and varied career -- much of it spent devoted to waterfront planning and development. With her husband, Ben Thompson, their firm, Benjamin Thompson & Associates, they opened a number of "festival marketplaces" that had captured cities imaginations. Faneuil Hall in Boston, Harborplace in Baltimore, South Street Seaport in New York, Bayside in Miami. See the New York Times obituary here

    In 1993 Jane chaired our Excellence on the Waterfront Awards Jury that took place in Barnstable at Ben and Jane's summer place. The jury was memorable not only for the Thompson's hospitality but also the beauty of Cape Cod and notably the fact that it was an all-woman jury. 

    Working as principal of Thompson Design Group she undertook an extensive master plan for the Buffalo Bayou in Houston. We worked with her and the team on the community participation aspect in the early days. Houston experienced a devastating flood while they were in the midst of the planning. Jane then had to study up and become an expert in flood issues. The Master Plan for Buffalo Bayou & Beyond received an Excellence on The Waterfront honor Award in 2002. She and her partner Pratap Talwar worked on master plans for Chicago's Navy Pier, Long Branch, New Jersey and Cleveland's North Coast. 

    Jane gave presentations at a number of our conferences, the last being in Washington in 2012.  We were privileged to have known her as a friend and colleague for many, many years. She was a brilliant, forthright individual, her interests were far ranging but apart from her highly professional side, she was slightly irreverent and lots of  fun to be around. We will cherish our memories of dinners and parties together and her wonderful smile. 

    We will be dedicating our October 21st Mini-conference and Awards Ceremony to her memory. It is most fitting that the Buffalo Bayou Park will be receiving Top Honor. We are only sorry she won't be hand for the festivities.
 29th Annual Excellence on the Waterfront
 Awards Announcment and Mini-Conference

October 21, 2016

1:00 – 7:00 p.m.

The Churchill Hotel

1914 Connecticut Ave. NW,Washington, D.C.
HOTEL CUT-OFF LOOMS.
    We have blocked a number of rooms at the hotel from October 20 - 23 at special rate of $169 s/d or $189 for Jr. Suite. The cutoff is September 19. Make your  reservations directly with hotel to make sure we get credit towards the block: 202 297 2000 and mention you are with The Waterfront Center. The rooms have been recently renovated. 
 SIGN UP FOR THE CONFERENCE TODAY ONLINE HERE
OR E-MAIL mail@waterfrontcenter.org
OR CALL 202 337-O356 AND WE CAN TAKE YOUR INFORMATION.
 
Program
October 21, 2016
1:00    Registration

1:30    Welcome Remarks and Water Ceremony           

           Tribute to Jane Thompson          

2:00     Announcement  of Excellence on the Waterfront Honor Awards with presentations by the winners about their projects following acceptance of the award.

Charles Flynn, executive director, Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, Yuma, Arizona, presiding

 Conference Presentations

Confirmed speakers as of 09/01/16

Clearwater Citizen Award:

 The Ernst Trail Group, Meadville City, Vernon Township, Pennsylvania.

 Project Awards
• Chicago Riverwalk/ State Street to LaSalle Street
Chicago, Illinois, Representative from Chicago Department of Transportation.
• Daylighting the Saw Mill River, Van der Donck Park
Yonkers, New York, William Kuhl, principal, Saratoga Associates, New York, New York
• Menomonee Valley Industrial Center and Community Park
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, William Wenk, principal, Wenk Associates, Denver, Colorado
 Prinicipal Riverwalk Pump Station
Joshua Baker, substance architecture, Des, Moines, Iowa.
 • River Forest Island
BaJiZhou, Changsha, Hunan Province, China,  Xiao Zheng, principal, SWA Group, Chula Vista, California
• St. Patrick’s Island Park
Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Barbara Wilks, principal, W Architecture & Landscape Architecture, Brooklyn, New York
 • Sims Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility
Brooklyn, New York, Representative from Selldorf Architects, New York, New York
• The Rockaway Boardwalk Reconstruction
Rockaway, Queens, New York, Project Manager and Architect
• A Vision for the Willamette Falls Legacy Project – Top Honor Plan
Oregon City, Oregon,  Mike Zilis, principal, Walker Macy , Portland, Oregon
• Buffalo Bayou Park  - Top Honor - Project
Houston, Texas,  Scot McCready, principal, SWA Group, Houston, Texas
6:00    Champagne Reception to Celebrate the 2016 Honorees
7:30     Gala Dinner honoring the 2016 Winners and the Center’s 35th Anniversary

August 2016 Newsletter

ANNOUNCING 

2016 EXCELLENCE ON THE WATERFRONT AWARD WINNERS
 CONGRATULATIONS to one and all
      We are pleased to announce this year's winners selected by our interdisciplinary jury that met in Cape May, N.J. July 29 and 30. We publicly thank them for generously giving of their time and talent. 

    We also thank all of those who submitted entries. As is always the case, much good work was not selected this year but we will be encouraging folks to re-enter in 2017 - our 30th awards program!
    The 2016 Jury: from l-r: Ray Gastil, planning director, City of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Kim Mathews, principal, Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, New York, New York, Charles Flynn, executive director, Yuma Cross National Heritage Area, Yuma, Arizona, jury chair and Werner Plessl, executive director, Hamilton Waterfront Trust, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
    NEW FOR 2016! Since the the October 21st awards event is being expanded to half a day so the attendees will not only witness the awards ceremony, but also hear first-hand presentations by the winners, we decided to publish the list to give you a sneak peak. Several of the winners have already responded that will attend and present. We will give a list of the presenters in future blasts and list them on the web site. This promises to be a very interesting mini-conference. A champagne reception will wind up the day at The Churchill, a boutique hotel on Connecticut Avenue.. Fee will include conference attendance and the reception. 

Mini Conference details can be found HERE and a sign up form HERE.   
    The 2016 “EXCELLENCE ON THE WATERFRONT” awards program, organized by the non-profit Waterfront Center of Washington, D.C., features 10 winning entries from a universe of 48, plus one citizen’s award. This year’s jury, meeting in July in Cape May, N.J.. made two Top Honor selections. They are:
 A Vision for the Willamette Falls Legacy Project
City of Oregon City, Oregon, Top Honor Plan. Submitted by Ken Pirie, Walker Macy, Portland, Oregon, and Chritina Robertson-Gardiner, City of Oregon City, Oregon.  
 Buffalo Bayou Park

Houston, Texas, Top Honor Project. Submitted by Kinder Baumgardner, SWA Group and Anne Olson, Buffalo Bayou Partnership, both Houston, Texas

 Honor Awards in alphabetical order:

 Chicago Riverwalk/State Street to LaSalle Street
Chicago, Illinois. Submitted by Gina Ford, Sasaki Associates Inc., Watertown, Massachusetts and Carol Ross Barney, Ross Barney Architects, Chicago, Illinois, and Michael Claffey, Chicago Department of Transportation, Chicago.
 Daylighting the Saw Mill River, Van der Donck Park
 Yonkers, New York. Submitted by William Kuhl, Saratoga Associates, New York, New York and the Mayors Office, City of Yonkers, New York.  
 Menomonee Valley Industrial Center and Community Park
 Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Submitted by William E. Wenk, Wenk Associates Inc., Denver, Colorado, Dave Misky, Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee, and Corey Zetts, Menomonee Valley Partners, both Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
 Principal Riverwalk Pump Station
 Des Moines, Iowa. Submitted by Paul Mankins,, substancearchitecture and Pam Cooksey, City of Des Moines Engineering Department, both Des Moines, Iowa.
 River Forest Island
  BaJiZhou, Changsha, Hunan Province, China. Submitted by Xiao Zheng, SWA Group, Laguna Beach, California and Xi Yun, Xiangjiang New City District Administration Commission, Changsha, Hunan Province, China
 The Rockaway Boardwalk Reconstruction
 Rockaway, Queens, New York. Submitted by Jonathan Goldstick, CH2M and Dan Colangione, New York City Economic Development Corp., both New York, New York.
 St. Patrick’s Island Park
 Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Submitted by Civitas, Inc., Denver, Colorado, W Architecture & Landscape Architecture LLC, Brooklyn, New York. and Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
 Sims Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility
 Brooklyn, New York. Submitted by Annabelle Selldorf, Selldorf Architects, New York, New York., and Tom Outerbridge, Sims Municipal Recycling, Brooklyn, New York.
 Clearwater Citizen’s Award
 The Ernst Trail Group, Meadville City, Vernon Township and Union Township, Pennsylvania. Formed in 1995, volunteers have worked to establish a recreational trail including a covered bridge built mostly with volunteer labor.

 

Serving on the 2016 jury were:

• Charles Flynn, executive director, Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, Yuma, Arizona, jury chair.

• Ray Gastil, director, Department of City Planning, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

• Kim Mathews, principal, Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, P.C., New York, New York.

• Werner Plessl, executive director, Hamilton Waterfront Trust, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

July 2016 Newsletter
 SIGN UP TODAY ONLINE HERE
OR E-MAIL mail@waterfrontcenter.org
OR CALL 202 337-O356 AND WE CAN TAKE YOUR INFORMATION.
 
The Waterfront Center’s
29th Annual Excellence on the Waterfront
Half-Day Conference, Awards Ceremony and Reception
 Friday, October 21, 2016
1:30 – 7:00 p.m.
The Churchill Hotel
1914 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, D.C.
     NEW FOR 2016! We are excited to announce that the October 21st awards event is being expanded to half a day so the attendees will not only witness the awards ceremony, but also hear first-hand presentations by the winners. This promises to be a very interesting mini-conference. A champagne reception will wind up the day at The Churchill, a boutique hotel on Connecticut Avenue. A press release announcing the winners will be mailed out in early August and the names of the presenters posted on our web site. Charles Flynn, executive director of the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, Yuma Arizona, this year’s jury chair, will preside. Fee will include conference attendance and the reception.
 Gala Dinner Honoring the 2016 Winners
and Celebrating the Center’s 35th Anniversary
PLUS
Be the First to See the “Trailer” for Documentary Film:
Waterfronts Reborn
7:30 p.m.
2101 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, D.C.
     SOMETHING EXTRA SPECIAL! Gala guests will be the very first to see the trailer for the documentary film, “Waterfronts Reborn” that the Center is producing to celebrate it’s anniversary. The filmmaker and producer Jonathan Dann has worked at the highest levels of network broadcasting (NBC. CBS, PBS, CNBC, A&E), collaborating with some of the most respected names in the business. Jonathan will be on hand to help introduce the film. Plans are afoot to create an hour-long documentary highlighting the urban waterfront phenomenon in general with four-to-five case studies. The trailer features the dramatic transformation of the Buffalo Bayou in Houston. 
 CHURCHILL HOTEL

    We have blocked a number of rooms at the hotel from October 20 - 23 at special rate of $169 s/d or $189 for Jr. Suite. The cutoff is September 19. Make your  reservations directly with hotel to make sure we get credit towards the block: 202 297 2000 and mention you are with The Waterfront Center. The rooms have been recently renovated. 

    The hotel is conveniently located between two Metro stations (Dupont Circle and Woodley Park/ZOO), and served by a number of buses. Taxis run up and down Connecticut Avenue a lot. 
 

     The Optional 35th Anniversary Gala Dinner will take place in a private room at the historic 2101 Connecticut Avenue apartment building in Washington, D.C.

 

Late June 2016 Newsletter
 AWARDS SUBMITTAL DEADLINE: JULY 1, 2016
 Update on Waterfronts Reborn
    The trailer for our proposed documentary film is well underway. Jonathan Dann, our producer, is working away and will go back down to Houston to do a bit more filming. We give everyone a heads up to join us October 21st in Washington for the 29th Annual Excellence on the Waterfront Awards half-day program featuring presentations by the winners, the ceremony itself, the champagne reception and the optional Gala Dinner. The trailer will be previewed for the first time and Jonathon will be on hand for all to meet. Details well be forthcoming on our website and in these e-letters.
 Houston’s Buffalo Bayou – a Showcase of Public Art
      In the last e-letter we gave you a snapshot tour of the Buffalo Bayou as it weaves its way through downtown Houston. Along with the lush vegetation, flora and fauna, the miles of hike and bike trails, attractive pavilions and street furniture, the Bayou affords an opportunity to discover a variety of public art installations.

    We urge you to visit the Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s website to get even more detail, maps and other information.
 

    Below we give an idea of what you may encounter as you meander through:
It Wasn’t a Dream, It was a Flood by John Runnels, 2014
 
 
Serving as gateway entry points these stainless steel canoe sculptures  can be found at various eastward bayou access points.
 
 Passage Inacheve by Linnea Glatt and Francis Thompson, 1990
    This piece takes the form of a house but is completely open to the elements on all sides and is constructed of galvanized steel. Visual images highlight issues of human rights, freedom of expression and historic and contemporary concerns.
 Spindle by Henry Moore, 1979
    The cast bronze abstract sculpture was originally part of the artist’s Spindle series placed in London’s Hyde Park.
 
 Tolerance by Jaume Plensa, 2011
    The meditative human figures representing the seven continents of the world are composed of stainless steel alphabet letters from many languages. Resting on large boulders, quite visible from the roadway, the figures glow at night.
Monumental Moments by Anthony Thompson Schumate, 2015
    “Listen” is one of a series of four-foot tall sculptures. The single word thoughts – Explore, Pause, Reflect, Listen, Emerge and Observe – are placed in unexpected areas along the bayou walkways.

 Down Periscope by Donald Lipski, 2015
    Through the Down Periscope, visitors can peer into the 87.500-square ‘ Cistern, a former City of Houston drinking water reservoir renovated by the Partnership. The Periscope can also be accessed online from anywhere in the world
 
 
 Seven Wonders by Mel Chin, 1998
    These 70’ pillars dramatically enliven the wall of the Wortham Center that houses Houston’s Ballet and Grand Opera facing the bayou. Hundreds of Houston school children drew pictures representing: Philanthropy, Medicine, Energy, Agriculture, Manufacturing, Technology and Transportation. These images were laser cut into stainless steel to form these giant interpretive sculptures that glisten in the sun by day and are dramatically lit up at night.

 One of a number of interpretive photo plaques encased in the perimeter fencing in the 22-acre Sesquicentennial Park dedicated in 1986 along the Bayou next to the Wortham Center.
 Lunar Cycle Lighting
    Designed by L’Observtoire and artist Stephen Korns, Buffalo Bayou’s signature lighting transitions from white to blue as the moon waxes and wanes. It is not for nothing that Houston is the home of NASA and this imaginative and magical lighting pays tribute to that fact.

CHRISTO’S Newest: Floating Piers
    Speaking of public art: Christo, who with his late wife Jean Claude, were famous for unfurling yards and yards of fabric wrapping all sorts of things opened his newest project on Lake Iseo in Italy’s Lombardy region. “The Floating Piers”  is a two mile walking connecting two small islands to each other and the mainland. (New York Times, Saturday June 18, 2016 by Elisabetta Povoledo: Christo’s Latest Feat: Walking on Water”).

 
   The project will be free to the public until July 3. It was to have been open 24 hours but officials had to close the installation nightly due the massive crowds – more than 350,000 people had already converged as of June 22 or so.
    Many may remember Christo and Jean Claude’s 1983 work: Surrounded Islands in Biscayne Bay in Miami.  What must be miles of brilliant pink fabric surrounded 11 islands contrasted with the bright blue water and made for quite a sight. The Floating Piers pits the bold orange walkways against the gray-blue water of the lake. The bay piece was more fluid and playful while the lake piece is geometric and abstract. However 'walking on the water' must be a treat!

- Excellence on the Waterfront Awards Deadline - July 1, 2016
- A Remarkable WaterFire Experience
- Harriet and Al Saperstein Celebrate
- Recent Article of Interest in LAM

 Excellence on the Waterfront Awards Deadline - July 1, 2016
 
Unforgettable WaterFire Experience!

    To truly comprehend  WaterFire in Providence, Rhode Island one must fully appreciate the transformative intervention that occurred there, namely: the River Relocation, Riverwalk and Waterplace -- without which there would have been no "stage" for the spectacle. Bill Warner , the architect behind the project was a great friend of the Center and made several presentations at conferences and workshops. The project was awarded an Excellence on the Waterfront Award in 1994. I quote H.L. Parker who wrote at the time architect William Warner's death:

    Talk about the right man at the right time. William Warner was the architect and planner who saw the big picture — the really big picture — back in the 80’s when downtown Providence was a shabby dump. He could see that if we just pulled up the parking lots, pulled down the railroad bridges, redirected some rivers, moved a highway we might we might actually have something here. If the devil is in the details Warner must have sold his soul because every footbridge, lamppost, railing, arch, pier, balluster and bollard has been designed and integrated into a glorious whole. Nothing is ordinary. Everything is lovely and graceful. According to the Providence Journal,

    ...in April 1981 at Blue Point, a former oyster bar on North Main Street. A group of then-young architects, including St. Florian and Warner, disgruntled at what they saw as a lack of inspired planning at Providence’s City Hall, sketched what became the layout of Providence’s rivers on a linen napkin. See illustration below. “I went home and forgot about it,” St. Florian said. Warner didn’t. Ultimately, with work by engineers, politicians and officials at all three levels of government, the rivers were moved and parks and river walks built along them.
    The riverfront and Waterplace Park could have been just another crumby, slapdash hodgepodge of individual projects, shoddy building materials, kickback scandals, and conventional design, but the vision of this one man led to something inspired and transcendent. Thank you William Warner.
 
WaterFire - Background

    WaterFire is the brainchild of artist Barnaby Evans  What was conceived to have been a one-off performance piece is now a well-loved tradition on the Providence waterfront. It received an honor award from the Center in 2006. Evans and WaterFire International have created interpretations of WaterFire for a number of cities around the world, the first was in Houston, Texas to celebrate the opening of an early portion of the Buffalo Bayou park in 1998.

 
    As it happens, we featured the Buffalo Bayou story  in a recent blast LINK  In another coincidence, WaterFire was set alight for two nights on the Tiber  in 2013, from Ponte Sisto to Ponte Navona. See previous newsletter about the latest mural project of the group Tevereterno on the Plaza Tevere in that same area.  

Up Close and First Hand.
    On May 28 we, along with Dick's daughter and granddaughter, found ourselves in Providence and at the invitation of Barnaby Evans, creator and artistic director of WaterFire, we found ourselves helped into one of the boats that weave their way around the braziers, were asked to pull on black tees and help light the fires. As we set off through the river and saw all the people lining the river edges, I could not help but shed tears thinking what Bill Warner had done for his city: embodying the best urban waterfronts have to offer, namely belief in the magic of water, the importance of a beautiful and a welcoming public realm enabling people to joyfully congregate. Indeed, the indelible experience will remain with me. And so I echo the sentiment: Thank you William Warner - and thenk you Barnaby Evans!
 
 The boats loaded up with logs that will feed the fires along with captains and volunteer crew members.
 Barnaby Evans welcoming everyone and giving direction. 
 A costumed performer lends a flavor of Venetian Carnivale.
 The Flotilla sets out to weave their way among the braziers.
 Crowds gather along the riverfront.
 Co-director Dick Rigby lighting one of the braziers


 Suddenly with music in the background, an unforgettable spectacle of water and fire! 
Check out WaterFire's website for more information and the schedule of performances.
 
Saperstein's Celebrate Sixty Years!
    Harriet and Al Saperstein recently joined their family and friends in Cape May, NJ to celebrate a special wedding anniversary. So we were lucky to have had a wonderful evening with them as they wound up their visit. Pictured below: Dick Rigby, Harriet, Ann Breen and Al.
    Harriet and Ann met in 1978 at a conference in Hamilton, Ontario and have been friends ever since. Harriet devoted much of her career with the Detroit Department of Recreation to revitalizing the  Riverfront there, raising many, many grants to help fund early park projects including Hart Plaza and Chene Park. Harriet has been a very loyal and active member of the Center's Board of Advisors, given numerous speeches at conferences over the years and undertaken consulting assignments.
Landscape Architecture Magazine June 2016 Issue 
Features a 1993 Excellence on the Waterfront Winner

    We were delighted to read a recent articles in LAM ("Still Here" by Jane Margolies, pp. 102-116) featuring the 30-year old South Cove in Battery Park City, a 1993 Honor award winner. From the outset, South Cove was a stunning yet intimate piece of waterfront. To quote from author Jane Margolies in the piece:

    "South Cove - conceived at a time when the shoreline was a no-man's land - helped spark New York's rediscovery of its waterfront. It gave those who lived and worked in Manhattan a toehold on the river. It pioneered technical innovations and design features that influenced the development of parks and waterfront spaces up and down the Hudson and indeed all around New York."

    During this era there was a movement afoot  to make public artists integral to the design process. And so South Cove was a result of an interdisciplinary collaboration between landscape architect Susan Child of Child Associates, Boston, architect Stan Eckstut, Eckstut & Kuhn Associates, New York and New York public artist, Mary Miss.

Late May 2016 Newsletter

Houston's Buffalo Bayou

Glimpses of this Stunning Transformation

    In 1999 - 17 years ago - Anne Olson, executive director to the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, hired The Waterfront Center to undertake some spot consulting. While they had accomplished the handsome Sesquicentennial Park and had a thriving cultural district nearby, the miles of the Bayou and its banks were overgrown, bleak and bedraggled. Only intrepid "river rats" would venture down. A few snapshots from the time show that this was less than a spectacular space.

 

 

A rudimentary walking trail in place at the time

    The Partnership subsequently commissioned a full-scale master plan, hiring the Thompson Design Group of Boston as their consultant. The landscape design was undertaken by the SWA Group of Houston.

    A week ago, Center co-directors went to Houston to meet up with Jonathan Dann, the executive producer of our planned documentary: Waterfronts Reborn, to begin shooting the short trailer that will come first. Its case study will focus on the transformation of the Buffalo Bayou. See our home page for more details on Jonathan and the project. Anne Olson and her team were extremely helpful taking us all around to see what has been accomplished and help arrange logistics.

    After our first day touring, we were amazed - to say the least - at the transformation. Buffalo Bayou is a stunning, nearly 10-mile, multi-acre piece of public realm running through the heart of Houston for its citizens to enjoy. The park is lush with vegetation; has lots of trails and pathways for multiple users; a variety of public art pieces; visitor centers, pedestrian bridges connecting both sides of the bayou; a dog park and nature areas.

The images below will give only a glimpse of what is to be seen. A subsequent newsletter will highlight the public art.


Buffalo's Bayou's lush green contrasts sharply with Houston's dramatic skyline


One of the many locational maps to be found throughout the park. This one near the Water Works

 

Directional sign near the access ramp that takes visitors up to the shaded porch on the second floor of the Wortham Insurance Visitor Center. Note the balustrade design carried out through most of the park

 

The Visitor Center houses rest rooms, information office and bike rental and was designed by Page Architects of Austin.

 

The Lost Lake with Visitor Center in the background and beautiful plantings in the foreground


The Lost Lake Visitor Center houses a restrooms, paddle boat rental and the popular Dunlavy - a fun spot where we enjoyed lunch with Anne Olson


Boating on the Bayou - a popular pastime


One of the pedestrian crossings popular with cyclists, joggers and walkers


One of the major park entrances - this one to the Sabine Promenade. A glimpse of local artist John Rummel's stainless steel boat sculptures can be seen at the top of the stairs. Several versions of the boat sculptures welcome visitors at park entrances throughout the park


Sighting of a heron near Sesquicentennial Park. Birds, ducks, butterflies, and dragonflies are among delights to be spotted

 

 

A fun discovery was this homemade sign accompanying the handcrafted birdhouses made by students of the University of Houston Downtown situated close by on the Bayou. Quite a number of them were found dangling in the grove of trees close to bayou and the University

 

May 2016 Newsletter

 

Excellence on the Waterfront Awards Program
Deadline for 2016 Submittals: July 1, 2016
Visit here for program details and entry form. 

A Monumental Mural along the Tiber 
    In early October we shared images of our walk along the Tiber in an e-blast where we noted the graffiti and signs of neglect that we 
observed. Sadly this historic riverfront has long been overlooked. But recent developments bode very well for the future. Artist Kristin Jones and creative group of people have founded an organization Tevereterno that plans to reinvigorate this ancient waterfront. They have adopted an area, Piazza Tevere, located between Ponte Sisto and Ponte Mazzini to be the site for artistic and cultural happenings to focus awareness on the river.

    To quote from an article by Corielia Lauf: "To call Kristin Jones stubborn is an understatement. A decade ago, the American artist carpet-bombed Rome with plans for a frieze of monumental figures to be executed on the walls of the Tiber, with a novel technique of water-based dirt removal over stencil, leaving the silhouettes shining through the cleaned surface lines. She succeeded, and with a mix of grit and optimism, began a long campaign to salvage the Tiber banks, an area prone to human degradation and the frequent rise of this mythic but polluted river. Her figures were inaugurated with a party and procession, and thus was born a public art space on the Tiber." The group now has a 19-year lease on the piazza. 

     Tevereterno's latest accomplishment is artist William Kentridge's impressive 1,640-foot-long mural "Triumphs and Laments," that features a procession of 80 silhouetted figures from mythology, history and modern times. It so happened that our friend, art historian Richard Spear was in Rome for the celebration and agreed to let us share his photos with you. For more detailed information: Cornelia Lauf: "Locating William Kentridge's Massive Mural in the Roman Landscape" and Elizabeth Povoledo's article in the New York Times (April 26, 2016) " A Roman Legion of Volunteers Retakes the Tiber.".

    If your travels take you to Rome by all means, descend one of the many steep stairways to experience this extraordinary public artwork. We sure would. Who knows you might run into a happening as well.

 
photo credit Richard Spearh
 
 photo credit Richard Spearh
 photo credit Richard Spearh
 photo credit Richard Spearh
 photo credit Richard Spearh
 photo credit Richard Spearh
 photo credit Richard Spearh
photo credit Richard Spearh

Late April 2016 Newsletter

 
Excellence on the Waterfront – Ten Reasons to Enter!

Get your waterfront project/plan worldwide recognition! 
The winning entrant and their project or plan:
• are announced at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on October 21, 2016,        attended by practitioners like yourself;
• are asked to give a short presentation of your undertaking, with images;
• are celebrated at a champagne reception that follows;
• are treated to a gala dinner in a private room for winners, jurors and past winners;
• are included in a special illustrated 16-page booklet that you receive with your certificate;
• are featured on the Center’s website showing images of the ceremonies and the winners accepting their awards, and
• are also included on the Center website’s  interactive database that will soon depict the nearly 400 + projects that have won awards since 1987 – a unique resource freely available to anyone interested.  
Your award is then announced to the following:
• The Center’s press list of 600+,
• An e-mail list numbering in the thousands, 
and included in a special e-blast devoted to the 2016 Excellence on the Waterfront award winners.
Entering is simple: a two-page narrative that addresses judging criteria and 20 images. That is all that is required! Additional information such as articles, endorsement by local officials, additional photos are welcome, provided they fit into a three-ring binder. Full details here and entry form here on our Web site.

DEADLINE: POSTMARKED BY JULY 1, 2016!
An interdisciplinary jury of varied geography and city sizes will convene in Cape May, N.J., in July. They will spend a full day-and-half reviewing the entries and selecting a limited number of winners. In most years, a Top Honor project and Top Honor plan are picked.
As the saying goes, you’ve got to take part to win!

 
left to right: Jeff Parks, ArtsQuest Foundation, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the 2015 Jury Chair presenting the top honor award to Laurie Schwartz,
Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore and Steve Ziger, Ziger Snead both of Baltimore for the Water Wheel. Looking on is Charles Flynn,



Landscape architect, Kim Mathews, Mathews Nielsen, New York, who received a 2015 honor award
for West Point Foundry Park making a presentation to the assembled attendees.



Winners being feted at the 2015 Gala Dinner in their Honor.

April 2016 Newsletter

Peter Stanford 1927 - 2016

                              
                                    Peter  Stanford                                                       Norma and Peter Stanford             

    We were saddened to hear of the death of Peter Stanford, a stalwart of the maritime preservation world,  on March 24 at the age of 89. We were privileged to know this visionary, courageous person. He dedicated his life to historic vessels and the maritime preservation field. He was one of their leading lights. See the New York Times obituary. Among his significant accomplishments, along with his wife, Norma, was founding the South Street Seaport Museum; championing the effort to save the South Street Seaport District;

         

                                                              Historic Vessel Docked at one of the piers       Some of the historic fabric found in the Seaport precinct                 

Peter Stanford co-founded the National Maritime Historical Society

    He was co-founder of the National Maritime Historical Society, their headquarters were first located at Fulton Ferry Landing -- not far from Olga Bloom's Bargemusic; and oversaw their publication, Sea History. he was known for sleuthing, finding and rescuing battered historic vessels and transforming them into visitor attractions; working with disadvantaged youth teaching them maritime skills; instrumental in founding the World's Ships Trust and co-founder Operation Sail 1976 - the breath-taking event that brought tens of thousands to waterfronts up and down the east coast - treating them to the magnificent parades of sail but also first hand glimpses of the nascent waterfront redevelopment phenomenon.

        

                    The Spectacular Parade of Sail in New York Harbor during OpSail '76       People jammed onto one of the many boats from which to get a closer look

  Readers of this newsletter may recall we reviewed he and Norma's book, "A Dream of Tall Ships," that can be found on our website.
    The Center was actively involved with many members of the maritime preservation community in our early years and we did a lot of networking with Peter.  In 1984, we conducted a workshop, where Peter was a major speaker and moderator at two sessions devoted to the subject. We enjoyed attending a number of his meetings. He was a great leader, a dynamic and forthright speaker and a wonderful, unique character in every sense of the word. The maritime community globally will miss him. 
 2016 Excellence on the Waterfront Awards
Jury Selection 

    We are pleased to announce our 29th interdisciplinary jury who will convene in Cape May, New Jersey in late July. As always, we are grateful for these individuals to volunteer to give of their time and talent.       

    Charles Flynn, executive director, Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, Yuma, Arizona, jury chair

    Kim Mathews, principal, Mathews Nielsen Landscape Archtiects, P.C., New York, New York

    Werner Plessl, executive director, Hamilton Waterfront Trust, Hamilton, Ontario Canada

    Mason Sears, president, SF Marina Systems, USA, Portland, Maine

 

Charley Flynn, jury chair, pictured here served on the 2015 panel

Reminder: Deadline for submittals is July 1, 2016

 

Save the Date: October 21, 2016
Awards Event Expanded, Washington, D.C.

    The 29th Annual Excellence on the Waterfront Awards Ceremony will be expanded to include a half-day mini- meeting. We will announce the winners in August and plan to have each winner, as they able to attend, make a 20-minute presentation on their award-winning work. This builds on last year's experiment with much shorter presentations. This new format we think will make for an exciting afternoon. Stay tuned to the website for further information on registration. The Ceremony will be followed by a reception as usual and an optional gala dinner celebrating not only the 2016 winners but the 35th Anniversary of the Waterfront Center.
 
The Excellence on the Waterfront Interactive Database

 

    We -- or mostly Stewart -- are definitely coming down the mountain with only 8 years left to input! The end is in sight. So we are 21 years down. There are almost 2000 images available for folks to explore. This is an amazing resource so if you know people interested in the waterfront phenomenon, let them know of  this unique  record of over 28 years of award-winning projects, plans, citizen efforts and student work. We thank again those of you who donated to this project a number of years back. All help was greatly appreciated. Digitizing the slide collection alone was no mean feat.

    We thank again those of you who donated to this project a number of years back. All help was greatly appreciated.

 

February 2016 Newsletter

Sylvia McLaughlin

    We received news that the legendary Bay Area activist died earlier this year at the age of 99. Sylvia who received a Clearwater award in 2002 and was a familiar face at a number of our annual conferences. She also served as an Excellence on the Waterfront juror in 2004. Sylvia is pictured below at our 24th annual conference in Portland, Oregon along with a delegation from Kitakyushu, Japan who were receiving a Clearwater award given to the Tobata Women's Association for their inspirational: Women's Quiet Battle for Blue Sky and Clear Water.


left to right: Mituko Izaki, Tobata Women's Association, Miyoko Morofugi, Waterfront Environment,

Honorable and Mrs. Koichi Sueyoshi, Kitakyushu, Japan, Sylvia McLaughlin and Ann Breen.

    She and her colleagues were credited with saving the San Francisco Bay and helping to gain passage of the legislation that led to the Bay Area Conservation and Development Commission. She was very supportive of the Center and we are grateful to her for her advice. We will all miss her.

Excellence on the Waterfront Awards Deadline and Ceremony

    This year's deadline for submittals is July 1, 2016. Details on the program and registration forms can be found on our website here.

    The announcement and presentation of the awards will take place on October 21, 2016 at The Churchill Hotel in Washington, D.C. This year's event will be more like a half-day conference. Registration will begin at 1:30. After accepting their award each winner will give a 20-minute presentation about their project or plan. A reception honoring the winners will follow at 6:00. The optional gala dinner will top the evening off. Details will be found on the website in March.

Excellence on the Waterfront Interactive Database

    Thanks to Stewart McKenzie, we are well over half way to installing all of the Center's awards made since 1987!. We urge you to try using it! For example you can type in Sylvia McLlaughlin, Oakland or Kitakyushu and you will see what's there about those Clearwater awards.

Jack London Square, Oakland

    Last summer we were visiting Oakland and took the occasion to re-visit Jack London Square, one of the true pioneers in the waterfront redevelopment phenomenon. This mixed use commercial work undertaken by the Port of Oakland was formally dedicated in 1951 and needless to say has changed over time.*

    We have been to Oakland and Jack London Square on a number of occasions over the last 30 or so years --including conducting a community workshop there in 1995 and holding our annual conference in there in 2000. Sandy Threlfall of Waterfront Action won a Clearwater award for the Junior League Study cited below as well as for an interactive map project spearheaded the local committee.

    Our impression from many years ago was of an isolated, rather sterile environment, due in no small part that an active rail that separated the area from the city, plus its distance to the core of Oakland. However, the iconic container cranes that inspired George Lucas (Star Wars) have lent real drama close the scene for many years.

 

    The current atmosphere of Jack London Square is vastly different. The cafe and restaurant scene is bustling, lots of boating and marinas, waterfront walkways, two hotels, a busy outdoor market, tons of events, shopping and entertainment and a very attractive and colorful streetscape, along with public art. Also there is a shuttle bus that takes you to the downtown and ferry service to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco and Alameda, increasing accessibility. Below we offer snapshots from the present with a few from the past.

    You can't not go to the Heinhold's First and Last Chance opened in the 1880's - if you can squeeze in. First visit there was only the indoor option. Today you can sit outdoors increasing the options.

     

The outdoor cafe scene is greatly expanded and enhanced.

 

    The Public Marina on the waterfront offers fuel, showers, berths/tie-ups, showers and an attractive public restroom on the ground floor. These sorts of facilities are often less than attractive which makes this a standout. The restroom is also convenient for walking or biking the Bay Trail which runs along most of the edge of the waterfront here.

 

    We would say the improvements in the public realm have played a major role in re-invigorating the now 61-year-old Jack London Square. No dowdy dowager this. Flower Power! Kudos to the maintenance staff. Note the bicycles climbing up the street lights!

*References: Arthur Cotton Moore et. al. : Bright Breathing Edges of City Life. 1971 and The Waterfront: A Study Report of the League of Women Voters of Oakland. 1993

January 2016 Newsletter

2016 Excellence on the Waterfront Awards Program

    Deadline for Submittals is July 1, 2016 (postmark). Details and application forms are up on our website here.

    SAVE THE DATE: 2016 Awards Ceremony, Reception and Gala Dinner: October 21, 2016, Washington, D.C. Details on the program and social events to follow.

Regent's Canal - A Wintry Stroll

    London's Regents Canal, once an industrial workhorse, has undergone a major transformation. Thirty or so years ago it was little more than a towpath, where anglers set up their stools, bikers and walkers used it but not in huge numbers. It was slightly unkempt with butterfly bushes, wildflowers and weeds along the banks where narrow boats tied up. Things have been gradually changing and in December when we ventured from King's Cross Station down to the canal, we came across offices, housing, cafes, restaurants and a very popular walking/biking trail. Below are some images we wanted to share as the sun was beginning to set around 2:00 in the afternoon. It was the only sunny day we had in two weeks in England! Visit here for more information and very sunny photos!

    One of the sights was a first for us: a book barge, "Word on the Water." It is moored at the base of amphitheater-style seating so one can imagine performances that may be held at the base of the steps. We wished we weren't on a schedule so we could have had a look inside!

         

Public art enthusiasts won't be disappointed as evident from the big and little fish we discovered as well as this sweet "shhhhh" poem.

    

    One of the great features of this 9-mile canal is its abundant flora and fauna aptly described on an illustrated interpretive sign. We were lucky to come across the real thing when these swans and birds came into view. Further along was another sign explaining floating wetlands.

 
  

The images below give you an idea of the built environment -- from spanking new offices/apartments, to renovated older buildings and infill. Have no clue about the Roman columns -- historical reference or maybe an Italian restaurant in the works. We could not get close. Plus, you spot the typical and often very colorful narrowboats that enliven the scene.

   

   

 

     Our meander was interrupted by the Islington Tunnel where we had to exit and save further sections for another trip. Dick seen examining the helpful way-finding signage.


Late October 2015 Newsletter

Countdown to 28th Awards Ceremony 

Awards ceremony and reception, Friday, November 6, 2015
The Churchill Hotel, Washington, DC
Awards Gala Dinner Friday, November 6, 2015
2101 Connecticut Avenue, Washington, DC


SteelStacks, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania - An Oh WOW Story! 
     Bethlehem Steel was one of the industrial giants of the 20th Century. Jeff Parks, then director of a nascent music festival, knew Bethlehem's future depended on more than the steel plant which closed in 1995. The year before Jeff invited Ann Breen to come to Bethlehem to make a presentation and she took the picture of the plant below from across the Lehigh River.

     Some 20 years later, Jeff, now retired executive of ArtsQuest, invited Ann and Dick Rigby to collaborate on a project in nearby Allentown. This gave them the golden opportunity to finally see the spectacular SteelStacks Jeff had shown in his presentation at Urban Waterfronts 27 in Seattle.These colossal ironworks could have been left to in ruins are now the iconic centerpiece of an  11-acre arts campus that opened in 2011. Over a million visitors have enjoyed over 1,750 performances of all kinds in the various venues. The Musikfest has grown up and is the largest free music event in the country. While SteelStacks today is not technically a waterfront project per se, it is so fabulous, we had to share this story with you and encourage you to visit ArtsQuest web site to get more information and imagery. Below are some photos to give you a taste of the visit to help you appreciate Ann and Dick's enthusiasm for this remarkable achievement. 
 
 Dick Rigby and Jeff Parks, founder of ArtsQuest and now with ArtsQuest Foundation 
examine one of the attractive interpretive signs about the blast furnaces.
YSteelStacks version of the 'high line' enables visitors to get up close with these incredible structures.
 Talk about patina - every photographers dream
 SteelStacks Visitor Center skillfully joins the old with the new. The interior houses numerous exhibits, 
an area to watch film, a souvenir shop also houses ample restroom facilities used during the many events
 ArtsQuest's handsome multipurpose center houses, performance spaces, 2 movie theaters, 
food vending and function rooms.The orange steel balcony pays homage to steel. Orange 
is the color of choice because Bethlehem steel was used in the construction of 
San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.
 This takes "Food Truck" to a new and different level - This food vending operation adjacent to the concert venue, 
celebrates the history of Mack Trucks that were manufactured in the area for years.
 New York's 
Pier A Harbor House - 
Open to the Public after 127 Years!
     We haven't mentioned waterfront restaurants since back in the day we had a print newsletter but this is certainly a special case. Anyone who has trooped around the tip of Manhattan has no doubt seen this once vacant historic pier structure jutting out into the harbor and wondered if anyone would ever fix it up. The building was slated to be demolished in the 1960s but lack of funding put that plan on hold.Thanks to our board member from Sydney, Di Talty, (pictured below)  we learned that it had been rejuvenated, opened as a restaurant and we met there recently for a memorable lunch.
     The 1884 building, placed on the National Register in 1975, has been restored - and beautifully so - into a fantastic eating/drinking emporium with drop-dead views of New York's harbor and the Statue of Liberty. Two long, long bars take up the first floor with raised table seating for pub food along the windows. The pier's apron is outfitted with picnic tables and umbrellas which must be very well-used in good weather.   Historic maps, prints and memorabilia are displayed throughout. The second floor is devoted to fine dining and private events as well as two handsome bars at either end. One can get a very clear view of the Merchant Mariner Memorial pictured below. So, if you are down Battery way, stop in for a  beer and oysters downstairs or wine and dine upstairs in style. Visit: www.pier.com
 Merchant Mariners Memorial by the sculpter Marisol Escobar was installed in 1991. 
The 1,000 pound installation as seen through one of the many windows in Pier A.
 
 Speaking of Food....
Anthony Bourdain Has Plans for New York's Pier 57
     As described in a Sept. 30 article in the New York Times, "Parts Now Known," the peripatetic culinary guru plans to create  megamarket for international cuisine for about 100 of retail and wholesale food vendors to be known a Bourdain Market. It is envisioned as akin to Pike Place Market in Seattle. Reporter Florance Fabricant mentions that a public park is planned for the roof, to be home to the Tribeca Film Festival for several weeks each year. The Hudson River Park Trust is planning a restaurant on the roof. Promises to be a happening place!

Early October 2015 Newsletter

                                                                                                      • Awards Ceremony and Gala
​​                                                                                                      
• EPA Grants Program Seeking Proposals
                                                                                                      • Postcard from Rome

Excellence on the Waterfront Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner
Friday, November 6. 
​     ​
OCTOBER 6 is the Deadline for special rates at the Churchill Hotel. Act today. Call  
202 797 2000 and ask for The Waterfront Center rates. It is not too late to sign up for great rates at the historic Churchill Hotel on Connecticut Avenue.



 
​    ​
Also, visit our web site to get the sign up form for the Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner. OR: CALL US AT 202 337 0356 and give us your details and credit card number. OR you can send a check to Waterfront Center,  PO Box 53351, Washington, DC 20009. Rates are as follows:

Awards Ceremony and Reception      $30.00
Guest                                                   $30.00
Gala Dinner                                         $125.00
G
ala Guest                                          $100.00
Combined Ceremony and Gala​  ​
        $135.00
 

  ​    ​We are working with jury chair, Jeff Parks, to make this an extra special awards ceremony with expanded coverage of the winners. Champagne reception follows and the multi-course dinner including wine held across the street promises to be  a very festive waterfront social occasion. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Urban Waters Small Grants program

 is currently requesting proposals!


​    ​
Under this announcement, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is soliciting proposals from eligible applicants for projects that will advance EPA’s water quality and environmental justice goals. Proposed projects will address urban runoff pollution through diverse partnerships that produce multiple community benefits, with emphasis on underserved communities. Note that proposed project activities must take place entirely within one of the Eligible Geographic Areas, as illustrated on the interactive map provided on the Urban Waters Small Grants mapping website at http://www2.epa.gov/urbanwaters

 

​    ​
The total estimated funding available for awards under this competition is approximately $1.6 million. EPA expects each award to range from $40,000 to $60,000. EPA Regional Offices will award the cooperative agreements resulting from this announcement. It is anticipated that each EPA Regional Office will award approximately two to three cooperative agreements. Funding is contingent upon Agency funding levels, the quality of proposals received, and other applicable considerations.

 

​    ​
Visit the Urban Waters Small Grants website to learn more about the program and how to submit a proposal at http://www2.epa.gov/urbanwaters

 

Postcard from Rome

 

​    ​
With the East Coast still dismantling barricades from Pope Francis's visits to Washington, New York and Philadelphia, it seemed apt to share a few photos taken along the ancient banks of the Tiber in August. We have been trooping along the Tiber every time we have visited Rome over the last 25 years. Usually  we would be nearly the only souls walking on the sidewalk above the river, never mind on the embankments below. This year we found a new tourist brochure touting the Tiber and its attractions including tour boats, nightclubs and the like. We opted to make our way with Trastevere neighborhood as our destination. The sidewalk that sits about 40' above the river along the busy Lungotevere is lined with sycamores that provide welcome shade and lush green canopies that gracefully drape over the walls down to the embankment reached by a variety of steep stairways near the bridges that punctuate the route.  To our surprise this year, we were joined by fellow pedestrians. We were sorry to see so much graffiti in many spots.  The snapshots below will give you an idea of the flavor of a very pleasant riverfront walk which still is a respite from so many tourist-clogged Roman streets and piazzas. 

Old bridge with inscriptions, rolling river.


Ruins of an old bridge.


South embankment, rustic trail

 


​​​
 ​Trastervere, stairs leading down to embankment, more biker-friendly than north bank. 


One of many steep stairs to the riverfront embankment. 


​Return along north side leaving Trastevere with tour boat in distance.​

 

Late August 2015 Newsletter

Upper Mississippi River Conference and Student Summit
October 14-16, 2015, Davenport, Iowa



    River Action, Inc. is once again spearheading its annual Upper Mississippi Conference with the theme of "The River Connecting Us." As many of you who attended our joint conference several years ago, the meeting draws an interesting crowd with a diverse and animated group of speakers, most from the region. 

SeaGlass Carousel Opens in Battery Bosque, Lower Manhattan



    The $16 million-dollar SeaGlass carousel, developed by the Battery Conservancy, constitutes a 3 1/2 minute experience where riders sit inside 30 spinning 10-to-14 feet high fiberglass fish with ever-changing colors and direction. Nothing short of fanciful from the pictures and descriptions found in the Friday, August 14 New York Times article by David Dunlap: " A Whirling School of Mechanized Fish." (pages C-19 and C-26). Warrie Price, president and founder of the Battery Conservancy, pushed for 12 long years to put this happy and fanciful facility in place. She hired Claire Weisz and Mark Yoes who drew up "a magical ride to the bottom of the ocean." George Tsypin of the George Tsypin Opera Factory who was the set designer of the musical "Disney's Little Mermaid was given the task of translating the vision into reality. 
​​

The carousel will operate from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day except January and February. Cost is $5.00

    Note: The Battery Conservancy won an Excellence on the Waterfront Top Honor in 2006 for the Battery Bosque whose chief designers were Weisz and Yoes. Visit the Center's Web Site's Interactive Data Base to learn more.  Go here and enter Battery Bosque.

A Walk on on the Urban Wild Side Heron's Head Park, San Francisco
    What could be more pleasant than the Bay Area with its perfect weather when you are escaping August East Coast heat? In coming communiques we will share some images and impressions of what we saw on a number of our walks while there.

    One of our Bay area hikes took in the industrial side of things. We took note of the Bay View Yacht Club with working waterfront infrastructure in the background. While slogging along a rather mundane pathway we  came across these unexpectedly attractive benches offering special views and then came across a familiar fishing pier that has been there since way back when. 
    

    Our predetermined destination for this walk was The Ramp, a favorite of ours. If you like somewhere off the beaten track, funk, good food and beer set amidst shipyards and ship repair infrastructure, not to mention the vessels themselves, head to this spot. 

    ​​ 

    After a most delightful lunch, my son's friend Dave took us to a place he likes to bring his dog, smack in the middle of another industrial portion of San Francisco's waterfront.  Lo and behold - it turned out to be the Excellence on the Waterfront Honor Award-Winning project: Heron's Head Park,  recognized in 2001 as a Clearwater Winner. Visiting one of the winners is always a treat especially when unexpected. A small parking lot, picnic tables, a dog run and restrooms greet you before reaching the park area itself. An attractive sign welcomes you first thing, with a glimpse of the EcoLab, an environmental classroom in the background. The brightly painted room is used by hundreds of nearby public school children.

    

​    The 22-acre park was a former brownfield site that has been reclaimed. The  long linear, windswept peninsula park puts you right out into the bay, offering spectacular views. The pebbled path, punctuated by simple step "sculptures," is perfect for running and walking. The steps as you can see provide a perfect spot for a photo op. Dick and Ann along with Ann's sons John and David, who have been dragged along countless waterfronts since 1975, were once again good sports.
 
    
    The open space and restored wetland, a rarity on San Francisco Bay, provides habitat for 100 species of birds. Handsome interpretive signage is found along the path. 

     
    This remarkable urban wild shows how the collaboration between the Port of San Francisco and the environmental justice group, Literacy for Environmental Justice turned a blighted landfill into a living classroom and a unique asset for the community to enjoy. 
    For more information: Go here and enter Herons Head Park.  Location: Cargo Way and Jennings St. in the Hunter's Point area. 

REMINDER: AWARDS CEREMONY, RECEPTION AND GALA DINNER - NOVEMBER 6
    Plan to join old waterfront friends and new ones in Washington, DC this November and see the results of the 28th Excellence on the Waterfront Jury deliberations. The convivial jury met July 23-25 in Cape May, New Jersey with Jeff Parks of ArtsQuest Foundation from Bethlehem chairing the group. 
You are in for a treat to see and hear about the 2015 winners. Go to our website: www.waterfrontcenter.org to learn more an get the signup form. A small block of rooms are being held until October 5 at The Churchill Hotel, 2014 Connecticut Ave. NW with a very reasonable rate of $184. Call 202 797 2000 and mention The Waterfront Center to secure the rate. 

 

July 2015 Newsletter

DATABASE UPDATE

    Huzzahs to Stewart for pushing forward - or in this instance a bit backward - as he has just entered  the years 1987 and l988 on the web site!. So take a trip down memory lane to see what juries deemed "excellent" nearly 30 years ago. 

QUEEN'S QUAY TERMINAL CELEBRATES A TRANSFORMATION



Before                                                                                                                    After​          
 
   
    Queen's Quay Terminal, an adaptive re-use project on the Toronto lakefront, won an Excellence on the Waterfront honor award back in 1989 (see photos above from their 1989 submittal).  It was one of Harbourfront Corporation's early efforts to transform that waterfront.    Waterfront Toronto, the successor organization recently celebrated the rejuvenation of the building and waterfront with  a ribbon cutting and festivities on June 19th. 


     "Back in the day" the trifecta for a grand tour of  exemplary waterfront developments was Boston, Baltimore and Toronto. We are definitely into second generations on waterfronts. Boston has re-worked their centerpiece Waterfront Park and Baltimore is at work implementing its Inner Harbor 2.0 Master Plan. 

LONDON, ONTARIO LAUNCHES COMPETITION FOR ITS RIVER THAMES



    This in from the London Free Press: 
    Organizers of the competition focused on a five-km stretch of the Thames that goes in three directions from the forks: north to Oxford St., west to Wharncliffe Rd. and south to the Port Stanley railway bridge.
    Led by Toronto-based urban design firm Urban Strategies, the request for qualifications was  sent out across North America and a panel of judges has pared the list  down to five finalists who will each receive $40,000 to design a pair of so-called “inaugural projects” for the two key areas: the forks, and SoHo.
    The short-listed firms for the first phase have been announced: 
    Brook McIlroy, Toronto and Thunder Bay
    Civitas, Denver
    PWL Partnership, Vancouver
    Janet Rosenberg Studio, Toronto
    Stoss + Dillon, Boston and Toronto
    One winner — for the forks — will be selected, and receive a contract worth at least $200,000 to complete their vision for the forks revitalization.
    Go to backtotheriver.ca for more details.

COLORADO RIVER'S DELTA'S RESURRECTION



    For too long the southernmost delta of the 1,450 mile Colorado River  had become a lifeless mass of gray mudflats. In 2014 as part of an innovative water-management agreement between the United States and Mexico, a "pulse flow" of water was released from the Morelos Dam and coursed down the dry riverbed.This was a bold experiment to see if the once-grand habitat could be revived. The need to revegetate the area is bolstered by the fact that hundreds of bird species depend on the habitat provided by the right trees. This story describes the hopeful signs that have resulted from the water release - a story still unfolding. Nature Conservancy scientists are part of a large team of specialists monitoring the project. One notable fact: there was a 35% decline in the delta vegetation once the early 2000s but now a there has been a 43% increase after the 2014 water release. 
    See the June/July 2015 Nature Conservancy magazine "The River's Return" by Victoria Schlesinger to learn much more. 
    Go to Nature Conservancy Colorada River "A Pulse of Water for the Delta"



    For another wonderful story of transformation along the Colorado River go to Transforming the Riverfront of Yuma, Arizona - one of the presentations at our 2014 Conference. The Yuma Riverfront Project was a 2014 Excellence on the Waterfront Award winner. 

REMINDER: AWARDS CEREMONY, RECEPTION AND GALA DINNER - NOVEMBER 6

    Plan to join old waterfront friends and meet new ones in Washington, DC this November and see the results of the 28th Excellence on the Waterfront Jury deliberations. The jury convenes July 23-25 in Cape May, New Jersey with Jeff Parks of ArtsFoundation from Bethlehem chairing the group. Go to our website to learn more about the events an get the signup form. A small block of rooms are being held until October 5 at The Churchill Hotel, 2014 Connecticut Ave. NW with a very reasonable rate of $184. Call 202 797 2000 and mention The Waterfront Center to secure the rate.