The Battery Conservancy Announces Opening of SeaGlass Carousel and the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Woodland Gardens, Thursday, August 20, 2015

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SeaGlass Carousel, a Giant Nautilus Shell Housing 30 Huge Luminescent Fish Figures and Encircled by Glorious Gardens Soon to Become Major New York City Cultural Attraction

Credit: Sara Cedar Miller

The Battery Conservancy announces that the SeaGlass Carousel, a new one-of-a-kind, permanent cultural attraction featuring a monumental nautilus shell with 30 grand luminescent fish, will open to the public on Thursday, August 20, at The Battery, the 25-acre public park at the southern tip of Manhattan. The glorious Tiffany & Co. Foundation Woodland Gardens that encircle the Carousel will also open that day.

SeaGlass was conceived by the award-winning WXY Architecture + Urban Design as a carousel recalling The Battery’s history as the original home of the New York Aquarium. WXY, creators of The Battery’s contemporary architecture and furniture, then designed a spiraling pavilion of glass and steel inspired by the chambered nautilus. The magnificent fish figures – as large as 9 ½ feet wide and 13 ½ feet tall – were designed by the internationally acclaimed George Tsypin Opera Factory, which is best known for creating the Opening Ceremony for the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi. Unique among carousels worldwide, SeaGlass motors lie under the floor – allowing full visibility across and around the shell, with no center post – and visitors sit within the figures rather than atop them. Instead of “riding” the fish as one would on a typical carousel, visitors will “become” fish while gliding through the sights and sounds of a 360° aquatic adventure.

“We are thrilled to introduce New Yorkers and visitors from around the world to SeaGlass Carousel, offering a completely unique theatrical experience that will delight and inspire,” said Warrie Price, president and founder of The Battery Conservancy. “The opening of SeaGlass and the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Woodland Gardens marks a major step forward in plans to revitalize The Battery, as it recaptures its place as a major cultural destination in the city.”

“For centuries, The Battery has provided all New Yorkers open access to our history, ocean views and the first location of New York City’s Aquarium. By bringing a little bit of the underwater world onto dry land, SeaGlass creates a striking, interactive reflection of The Battery’s special role as a place for New Yorkers and visitors to relax, play and learn,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP.

Visited by over 6 million people each year, The Battery remains one of the oldest and most popular public open spaces in continuous use in New York City. The Battery Conservancy, the not-for-profit created in 1994 to rebuild and revitalize The Battery in partnership with NYC Parks & Recreation, believes SeaGlass Carousel will help further establish The Battery as a leading natural and cultural New York City destination. More than 10 years in development, SeaGlass will bring art, architecture and music to visitors of all ages. This mystical underwater experience features thematic music presented by SiriusXM. SeaGlass Carousel was fabricated and assembled by Show Canada, an artistic and architectural team from Montreal.

For the last 20 years, Bill Rudin, Chairman of The Battery Conservancy and CEO and Vice Chairman of Rudin Management Company, has led the support to reinvigorate The Battery.

“My great-grandparents came to America through Castle Garden at The Battery, along with 8 million other immigrants,” said Rudin. “The Battery is where New York begins, and we are excited for visitors to enjoy the beauty and magic of these magnificent gardens and the extraordinary new SeaGlass Carousel.”

Visitors to SeaGlass Carousel will be welcomed by the beautiful Tiffany & Co. Foundation Woodland Gardens. Made possible by a $1 million grant from The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, the gardens were designed by acclaimed garden designer Piet Oudolf. In 2002 Oudolf accepted The Battery Conservancy’s commission to develop a horticultural master plan for the park. These gardens are his fourth at The Battery – for a total of 134,000 square feet of perennial plantings. The Tiffany & Co. Foundation’s support for the creation of the Woodland Gardens enabled the Conservancy to achieve an exceptional level of design and horticulture, setting a new standard for parks as creative destinations.

“We are pleased to support the Battery Conservancy as it rejuvenates this iconic locale, continuing the Foundation’s legacy of enhancing urban parks in one of the world’s greatest cities,” says Anisa Kamadoli Costa, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation’s chairman and president. “We are especially delighted that there is an additional synergy with the SeaGlass Carousel—which celebrates the diverse marine ecosystems we seek to protect through the Foundation’s Coral Conservation Program.”

The Battery Master Plan, now 90% complete or in construction, has guided the replacement of asphalt paths with great swaths of green. The plan calls for the restoration of The Battery’s many monuments, the installation of stunning perennial gardens, the creation of the landmark Battery Urban Farm and the unique, stunning SeaGlass Carousel. This spring, Battery Place Bikeway Gardens and pedestrian pathways opened to throngs of visitors. The park’s centerpiece, the 90,000 square foot Battery Oval opened on June 1st, along with a completely renovated comfort station on the north side of the park. The restoration of the renowned Giovanni da Verrazzano Monument is expected this summer. Designs are being completed for an expanded new playground of 1.4 acres set to open in 2017.

To date, The Battery Conservancy and its partners have raised $135 million in public and private funds to design, build, maintain and program The Battery. The Conservancy continues to raise the critical funds to complete the park’s Master Plan and institute educational and cultural programs.

SeaGlass Carousel will be open daily to the public from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Admission to SeaGlass Carousel will be $5 per ride. Access to The Battery is free and open to the public.

About The Battery Conservancy
The Battery Conservancy was created in 1994 as a not–for–profit educational corporation to rebuild and revitalize The Battery and its major landmark, Castle Clinton National Monument. The Conservancy spearheads this dramatic transformation in partnership with City, State and Federal governments and with individuals, corporations and foundations in the private sector. Visited by 6 million people each year, The Battery remains one of the oldest public open spaces in continuous use in New York City. The Conservancy honors and preserves its heritage by rebuilding the park with sustainable design and ecological practices while respecting and interpreting its rich history. The landscape design protects the natural environment while meeting the needs of a growing residential population, crowds of bustling commuters, and the millions of visitors who come to see the Statue of Liberty and experience New York Harbor. For more information, visit http://www.thebattery.org.

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