Hallets Cove Redevelopment

To see the final conceptual designs for Hallets Cove, click here.

This webpage was prepared with funds provided by the New York State Department State provided under Title 11 of the Environmental Protection Fund

About the Project

Through a New York State Department of State Environmental Protection Fund Grant, the NYC Economic Development Corporation and Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance's (MWA) Design the Edge Project seeks to advance conceptual design work and visioning for the LIC-Astoria waterfront and project site photoincorporate ecologically-enhanced design principles at a City-owned waterfront property in Hallets Cove.

The site is composed of a single 27,750 square foot lot featuring a pier and radio tower platform. Previously used as an illegal dumping ground for solid waste, this potentially beautiful piece of waterfront land--which looks out to Manhattan and Roosevelt Island across the East River--is currently an eyesore. Public access to the site is restricted by a fence along Vernon Boulevard. To the north of the site are the Astoria Houses Esplanade, Two Coves Community Garden, and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Astoria Houses. To the south is Socrates Sculpture Park, itself the site of a major restoration that took place in 1986.

In June of 2011, Green Shores NYC and the Trust for Public Land (TPL) released a document detailing the community's vision to turn the eight miles of waterfront between Newtown Creek and Bowery Bay into a cohesive stretch of publicly accessibly space. Engaging the communities of Astoria and Long Island City through a series of visioning sessions, hundreds of residents participated in a total of seven neighborhood listening sessions and two area-wide brainstorming sessions. Through these meetings, three principles emerged to guide the Queens waterfront: a 21st Century, healthy and vibrant, and a connected waterfront. For Halletts Cove, specifically, Green Shores NYC and TPL recommend a plan that would involve the renovation of the space for a variety of possible activities--including relaxation, fishing, and boating. 


History of Hallets Cove: A Legacy of Public Use

The history of Hallets Cove as a site for human-related water activity extends beyond the very founding of Astoria. Although the area remained essentially rural until the 19th Century, Halletts Cove served as a landing for vessels after the area's initial settlement in 1652. Documentation from 1782 shows one merchant who maintained a few small passenger boats in addition to a boat for the movement of horses to and from Halletts Cove. A stage coach system of water transportation was also developed; however, it took two and a half hours to get to City Hall.

In 1839, the still-rural area of Astoria—with a population of two thousand— was incorporated as a village and steamboat and ferry facilities linking 86th Street in Manhattan to the area were quickly established, greatly reducing the trip to New York. Service was also made available to Flushing and Williamsburg. The area at or around the current EDC Hallets Cove project has served as a public docking area since at least that time. The project at Halletts Cove is thus one way of continuing the legacy of the site’s purpose as a means of public access to local waterways.


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