The Battery Conservancy is thrilled to share the phenomenal talent of George Tsypin with the Sochi Olympics. Tune in tonight at 7:30 pm on NBC to see the Opening Ceremony that our George has designed into reality!

George Tsypin, collaborating with architects WXY, is commissioned by The Battery Conservancy to create the spectacular experience of SeaGlass: its fish, the multiple turntables, and the bioluminescent lighting design. Our SeaGlass fabricator Show Canada is also responsible for the nuts and bolts — and magic — of the Sochi extravaganza.

George was drawn to the SeaGlass project because it is a permanent testament to his skill and imagination.  Most of his work, including tonight’s opening ceremony, is temporary, dynamic and fleeting.  His opera sets, the staging of The Little Mermaid and Spider Man, have prepared him for his ultimate production:  SeaGlass!

In George’s words:

“SeaGlass is the ultimate “live theater,” in which visitors are the performers and the audience. It is a total immersive experience of movement, light and music. It is a blend of  art and mass entertainment.  It is for kids and adults, for the riders of the carousel, and a light and sculpture show for the city around it. It is educational and pure delight.”

Join us in sending George our congratulations on a spectacular opening to the 2014 Winter Olympics!

Chair_BANNER_smallerDownload full press release here


Designers from Nine Countries Across the Americas are Chosen

and The Battery Conservancy invites the public to comment

New York, NY — The Battery Conservancy and NYC Parks announce today the TOP 50 Designs of The Battery Conservancy Americas “Draw Up A Chair” Design Competition with the launch of its Online Gallery at The winning design will be fabricated for the public’s use in The Battery, New York City’s birthplace and original waterfront park.

The Top 50 come from 9 countries in the Americas: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, and the United States. 30% are students and 70% are professional designers.

The TOP 50 were selected by a world-renowned jury from an impressive 679 submissions.

“It is wonderful that more than 1,500 talented designers from 15 countries in North, Central and South America submitted designs for this unique international competition,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White. “We are proud to share the designs with the public to receive feedback since the chair is for all New Yorkers and visitors to use when they come to Battery Park. Special thanks to the team at The Battery Conservancy for moving this innovative project forward.”

“The Battery Conservancy created the competition to reinforce it our mission to foster design excellence and innovation in the public domain,” said Warrie Price, Founder and President of The Battery Conservancy.

The Battery Conservancy now invites the public to participate by commenting online and on-site in the park. The Online Design Gallery can be accessed at, where the public can comment on the TOP 50 designs and “LIKE” their favorites.

From May through October the public can view the TOP 50 designs on exhibition banners located near the Battery Green. The Battery receives over 6 million visitors a year with the highest volume during these months. Visitors to the park can express their opinions by texting (424) CHAIR-55.

The Battery Conservancy’s goal for the competition is to promote innovative industrial design use in public parks and to encourage a new design standard for outdoor seating. The Battery is committed to promoting the work of emerging and established designers through public interaction. The Battery Conservancy was impressed by quality of the 679 submissions and its online gallery has an option for the public to view ALL 679 designs.

In November 2013, the Finalists will be announced and full-scale prototypes of their designs will be developed by The Battery Conservancy. The winning design will be awarded US$10,000 cash prize, and the design will be fabricated for use on the Battery Green, now in construction.

The distinguished jurors are Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator, Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art; Allison Arieff, design writer, The New York Times, Editor, The Urbanist; Fernando Campana and Humberto Campana, designers, Sao Paulo; Rob Forbes, Founder of Design Within Reach and CEO of Public Bikes; Mario Schjetnan, Co-Founder & Director of Mario Schjetnan/Grupo de Diseño Urbano, Mexico City.

Media partners for The Americas Design Competition include ARC Design, Arch Daily, Architect’s Newspaper, Core 77, Metropolis Magazine, Modern Magazine, Plataforma Arquitectura, Sotheby’s and Surface Magazine.

About The Battery Conservancy

The Battery Conservancy was created in 1994 as a 501(c)(3) not–for–profit educational corporation to rebuild and revitalize The Battery, the 25-acre waterfront public park at the southern tip of Manhattan, and its major landmark, Castle Clinton National Monument. The Battery remains one of the oldest public open spaces in continuous use in New York City.

The Battery Conservancy, with its partners at the city, state and federal levels, has raised $122M to revitalize the park. Expansive lawns, overarching shade trees, vast perennial gardens, waterfront promenades with sweeping harbor views will soon be joined by the new Battery Bikeway connecting the East and West Sides of Manhattan; the much-anticipated SeaGlass carousel; and a remarkable new expanded Battery Playspace designed by Frank Gehry.

About NYC Parks

NYC Parks is the steward of more than 29,000 acres of land including 1,700 parks, 14 miles of beaches, 500 community gardens, and 2,500 Greenstreets.  NYC Parks manages the City’s athletic fields, playgrounds, tennis courts, recreation centers, public pools, nature centers, golf courses, monuments, and historic house museums, and cares for 2 million trees inside the parks and another 600,000 street trees.  NYC Parks also provides numerous free public programs and services in coordination with New York City’s local elected officials, community members, and non-profit partners.

All the busy farmers at the Battery Urban farm are excited to announce the opening of The Farmstand at its regular hours! After a soft opening last Tuesday, The Farmstand will return every THURSDAY from 12 noon until 6 pm for the remainder of the harvest, and share with its patrons all the delicious vegetables growing on the farm. Come this Thursday and expect to find cucumbers, eggplants, collard greens, basil, other herbs, zucchini flowers and perhaps a few of our first tomatoes! All prices are suggested donations, and all proceeds will go directly back into the farm. See you Thursday!

It was an exciting week here at the Battery! Rachael Ray, chef and TV personality came to the Urban Farm with her staff to learn about the project, talk with Warrie, and film a segment for her website! She was a delightful guest and we hope she’ll come back and visit whenever she is in the neighborhood.


We haven’t had a chance to even tell you too much what’s been going on at the Farm lately. From the moment we started the farm, we’ve been so busy planting a full array of heirloom/organic vegetables and supporting the eight neighborhood schools we invited to tend their own berms. There is SO much food being grown in the space here, it’s amazing. But we just wanted to take the opportunity to recap how fast we went from open lawn to farm:

Berms on Opening Day

Farm berms on Opening Day waiting to be planted.

In the cold, late Winter, we started with a pile of dark, healthy, rich soil, then with the help of strong backs and arms of our volunteers, we shaped them into 100+ empty berms.

Through a chilly spring planted early crops of peas, arugula, radishes, beets, turnips, and numerous varieties of lettuce and greens. We also worked hard at getting our summer plants started in the cold frames while we waiting for warmer weather to arrive before we could put them in the ground.

Thinning early lettuce

Thinning early lettuce

It took a while for the ground to warm up, but by May we were planting summer squashes, beans, edamame, sunflowers, and of course, keeping up with the new and interesting weeds that keep appearing. There is one in particular, an edible weed called Lamb Quarters, that keeps showing up aplenty, and it has been enjoyed, sautéed with a bit of garlic and salt, on more than one of our farmer’s plates this spring.

Red lettuce

Bed of lettuce


Some think Summer officially starts when the first tomato plant goes into the ground. Finally in May, when the warm weather was here to stay and the night temperature no longer risked dipping below 50 degrees, we planted the tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and herbs!! We planted a few dozen of our own heirloom plants we started from seed, as well as the beautiful tomato and eggplant plants generously donated by Pamela Page, including rare heirloom varieties with names like, Blonde Kopfchen, Aunt Ruby’s German Green, Henderson Pink.



All in all, there are close to 100 different varieties growing on the farm—and that’s not counting the types of vegetables that the schools and the Adopt-a-plot farmers are growing in their own berms.

We are so happy to have friends like the Lower Manhattan Community Middle School.

After putting their hands in the soil at the Urban Farm at the Battery, they could not contain their excitement about the harvest.

See for yourself!