The Story of the Battery: A Conversation with Warrie Price, Founder of New York’s Battery Conservancy
February 1, 2019 | Episode #27
THE BATTERY, NEW YORK – In Episode #27 of his podcast, Thomas Fraser talks with Warrie Price about the history and revitalization of the Battery in New York City. Price is the founder of the Battery Conservancy. In a wide-ranging interview, Price describes the history of the Battery and how it has been transformed into the urban refuge it is today. She also discusses how the rejuvenation of the Battery reflects the renaissance in public park building currently underway around the world.
The history of the Battery is fascinating. Located at the southernmost tip of Manhattan, the 25-acre Battery has witnessed much important American history. George Washington liked to take a walk here when he wanted to take a break from pressing issues of the day. Eleanor Roosevelt fought Robert Moses over preserving the natural setting. The events of September 11 occurred just north of the Battery. Hurricane Sandy flooded much of the Battery.
When Price volunteered to found and lead the Battery Conservancy in 1994, the Battery was in need of attention. There were no gardens. Much of the hardscape was in need of repair. But the Battery “had the great potential to be a flagship park in the city of New York,” she observes. Working with a variety of local, state and federal partners, the Battery Conservancy helped bring a number of important improvements to the Battery. Today, the Battery hosts one of the largest public perennial gardens in North America. Pathways, a bike lane, benches, food kiosks and a variety of additional features have been built. As a focal point in southern Manhattan and the gateway to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, the Battery is now enjoyed by more than 44 million commuters, tourists, residents, neighborhood workers and other visitors every year.
To learn more about the work of the Battery Conservancy, please click here.