News & Press Coverage

April 24, 2018

East River Esplanade near Rockefeller reopens to pedestrians and cyclists

East River Esplanade near Rockefeller reopens to pedestrians and cyclistsA portion of the East River Esplanade, closed for the past five months while Rockefeller University conducted refurbishment work and enhancements, reopened April 18. When complete, the restored section of the esplanade will include new lighting, ample seating, thoughtful landscaping, and a designated bike lane. It will also be separated from the FDR Drive by an eight-foot-high noise barrier to reduce traffic sound.

Although work will continue over the next several months to install street furniture and plantings, the path will remain open to bicyclists and pedestrians throughout the remaining phases of construction. The renovation, which stretches from 64th to 68th Streets, will be fully complete by the end of June, except for plantings near 68th Street that will be done in September.

In addition to the cosmetic improvements, the university has made extensive repairs to the seawall that forms the foundation of the esplanade, which was damaged during Hurricane Sandy. It has also made improvements to collapsed sections of underground pipe that drain runoff from the adjacent roadway. In total, Rockefeller has spent over $15 million on upgrades to benefit the public and has contributed an additional $1 million to an endowment to maintain landscaping on this portion of the esplanade in perpetuity.

Designs for the refurbished esplanade were created with input from Councilmember Ben Kallos and other local government officials, Community Board 8, and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. A grass-roots conservancy devoted to the full 60-block esplanade, Friends of the East River Esplanade, was also closely involved.

The public improvements are a component of the university’s new Stavros Niarchos Foundation–David Rockefeller River Campus, which will include 160,000 square feet of modern, flexible lab space in a two-story, four-block-long building over the FDR.

“This was an all-out effort, including battling five nor’easters during the reconstruction, but we were able to confine the closure to the winter months when the esplanade sees the least amount of traffic,” says George Candler, associate vice president for planning and construction. “We are thrilled to reopen it to the community in time for spring weather, and we look forward to seeing it evolve as the remaining work is completed.”


Installation of River Campus structure begins with delivery of first of 19 prefabricated modulesRockefeller University Team Takes Modular Delivery to New Lengths
Engineering News Record, March 16, 2017
Riverside high-flying acts for Manhattan research building move modular delivery into the 21st century
Read More

Installation of River Campus structure begins with delivery of first of 19 prefabricated modulesSee how Rockefeller University's modular expansion took shape over the FDR
Curbed, September 28, 2016
In June 2016, work got underway on Rockefeller University’s modular expansion over the FDR Drive. The first phase of this convention-bending project would see the installation of 19 prefabricated sections over the course of the summer.
Read More

Crane FDRRockefeller University Starts Its Expansion Over a Busy Highway 
New York Times, June 15, 2016
As part of the expansion of the Rockefeller University, a crane moved the first of several structures into place above the Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive.
Read More

19 Prefabricated ModulesInstallation of River Campus structure begins with delivery of first of 19 prefabricated modules
June 13, 2016
A new phase of the project to extend the Rockefeller University’s campus toward the East River begins tomorrow at midnight, when the first of 19 prefabricated sections of the extension’s structural skeleton will be lifted into place over the FDR Drive by one of the largest barge-mounted cranes on the East Coast.
Read More

GroundbreakingGroundbreaking ceremony marks start of construction on East River seawall repairs 
December 11, 2015
The university has started to refurbish the damaged seawall that supports the East River Esplanade between 63rd and 68th Streets as part of the campus extension project. The esplanade will also be improved, with a new bike lane, landscaping, and a noise barrier along the FDR Drive.
Read More

 Henry R. Kravis FoundationThe Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Foundation provides landmark gift of $100 Million to The Rockefeller University
May 20, 2015
Marc Tessier-Lavigne, president of The Rockefeller University, today announced a leadership gift of $100 million from The Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Foundation to help create a new laboratory building that will be the centerpiece of the University’s major planned campus extension.
Read More

$150 million from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and David Rockefeller launches major campus extension
November 24, 2014
Marc Tessier-Lavigne, president of The Rockefeller University, today announced two leadership pledges of $75 million each from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and David Rockefeller to launch a major extension of the University’s campus on the East River.
Read More

NY City Council approves new Rockefeller laboratory building
May 14, 2014
The Rockefeller University’s proposal to build a two-story, 160,000 square foot building over the FDR Drive adjacent to its campus passed an important milestone today with the City Council’s vote to approve the plan.
Read More

 

April 24, 2018East River Esplanade near Rockefeller reopens to pedestrians and cyclistsA portion of the East River Esplanade, closed for the past five months while Rockefeller University conducted