GREENPORT WATERFRONT, LONG ISLAND, NY, USA
The Village of Greenport is a threshold between two possible geometries of experience. On the one hand is the centered experience of being out on the ocean oriented by instruments tuned to the rhythms of the stars, the wind and the horizon. On the other hand is the decentered experience inland on a continent positioned by marks of the already settled: roads, rails, community and tradition. It is a threshold between settlement and frontier, the firm ground of certainty and the shifting ground of imagination. It is also a threshold between a world going around the carousel and going around the world in the Regina Maris, two objects to be located on the Greenport waterfront as part of a program for a new park, harborwalk and marina. Both the Regina Maris, a retired 1908 schooner, and a vintage carousel, dating from 1920 and owned by the village, will be utilized. In addition, a one-room school house (a rare building representative of the traditions of the early settler) and the Berger House, both already displaced from sites within the village, are to be relocated in the park.
Located on the northern fork at the eastern end of Long Island, Greenport is a settlement in search of economic recovery in a way that prevents it from becoming the tourist trap that has transformed the identity of its neighbors on the southern fork. The village was a prosperous whaling and shipbuilding port as well as, temporarily, a successful oyster ground and a major stop on the New York to Boston rail route. This design of the waterfront provides a path to recovery.
With instruments that enabled the crossings of the high seas into uncharted territory, we chart a proposal for a park that accommodates four places, each with its own temporal and spatial horizon. The proposal extends into Greenport village through grafts on "sites of exchange"—those places vacated by the objects contributed to the park. Each is a "front" onto a particular water—tidal, atmospheric, ground, virtual and piped. Each is also a starting point of discovery and invention for residents and visitors alike.