The Sewage Treatment Plant that Grew a Park

It’s a park.

It’s a sewage treatment plant.

I can’t see a sewage treatment plant.

That’s because there’s a park on top of it.

The North River Wastewater Resource Recovery Facility processes 125 million gallons of wastewater every day during dry weather, and up to 340 million gallons a day when the weather is wet. It serves most of the West Side from Greenwich Village to Inwood Hill. Construction from 137th – 145th Street on the West Side Highway was completed in 1991.

Enter renowned architect Philip Johnson (Glass House, Seagram’s Building, 550 Madison Avenue, Lipstick Building) who first suggested a park be built over the plant. By 1993, it was.

Riverbank State Park is 28 green acres that includes sports surfaces, an Olympic-size swimming pool, skating rink, 800-seat theater, 2,500-seat athletic complex, restaurant and – here’s another piece of trivia for you – the largest green roof in New York City with plantings and trees in soil as deep as 35 feet.

The latest news: Work is underway on a $300 million project to install new, cleaner-burning co-generation engines at the wastewater facility. When completed, there will be close to a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, comparable to planting nearly 70,000 trees.

Read all about it here:

# # #

Photo: Wikipedia

By Steven J. Schleider, MAI, LEED-AP BD+C, President, Metropolitan Valuation Services