Gantry Plaza State Park also known as Gantry Park is located next to Hunter's Point South Park. With the seamless design of these two parks many visitors can stroll back and forth and never realize that they are actually moving from the city to the state park. Since Gantry Park is in fact about fifteen years older than Hunter's Point Park it could be metaphorically described as the stately brother.
As you enter Gantry Park from Hunter's Point South, you are greeted with a truly aesthetic design, unique but complimentary. It includes Gantry Plaza where massive gantries stand as a relic Long Island City's historic past and four gorgeous piers lurking over the East River.
At Gantry Plaza you cannot help but admire these two industrial structures that loom over you and gave the park its name. As the Manhattan skyline spreads out in front of you, these centerpieces of the park serve as striking reminders of the area’s history.
The rugged twin pair of gantries served as old shipping lifts of the James B. French patent built in 1925 and were once used to load and unload trains onto barges that carried them between Long Island and New Jersey, serving industries on Long Island via the Long Island Rail Road tracks that used to run along 48th Avenue (now part of Hunter's Point Park). It is for this reason that these gigantic, black industrial monuments have the words “Long Island” painted in orange letters, unwittingly confusing visitors into thinking they are actually in Long Island. The designers of Gantry Park have managed to preserve these gantries and elegantly incorporated these relics of the waterfront’s past into a flourishing public park. They have thereby transformed a declining industrial space and a crumbling shore into a stylish recreational spot, whose focal points now serve as dramatic symbols of urban archeology.
Gantry Park elegantly bends along the shoreline of the East River and is shaped around curved steps leading down to a plaza and then out to four distinct piers, stretching into the East River. Each pier has a different theme and provides unique views onto the Manhattan skyline, from Number 1, the Overlooking Pier, to Pier 2, the Café Pier with a Starbucks-like arrangement of elevated tables and bar stools, to Pier 3, the Sunning Pier, decorated with wooden chaise lounges all the way to Pier 4, the Fishing Pier.
- Visit GantryPark.com for more about Gantry Plaza State Park
Want to bring your bow-wow along? While most of the piers as well as the grassy areas on the promenade are a dog-free zone, from March 1 through September 1, Pier 1 allows leashed dogs from 7:30 am to 9:30 am and from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.