The Battery Conservancy Opens SeaGlass Carousel and the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Woodland Gardens at The Battery in Manhattan

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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: Filip Wolak

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

The Battery Conservancy announces that SeaGlass Carousel, a new one-of-a-kind, permanent cultural attraction featuring a monumental nautilus shell with 30 grand luminescent fish, opens 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 also open that day.

“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.”

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.

"SeaGlass is more than a carousel. It represents a breakthrough in how public parks can bring new cultural opportunities,” said Claire Weisz, co-founder of WXY Architecture + Urban Design. “This team of artists and architects has created something that will bring the magic of the ocean to children and adults
right here, where New York City started. It offers new and real experiences to people in a public space, where this mix of art and design is totally accessible and open to interpretation. It is truly an immersive experience, that gives one the sensation of floating in a garden."

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.

“SeaGlass Carousel allows visitors to experience a “mini opera” in which they are spectators, actors and participants,” said Tsypin. “A sculptural and visually striking ride, it is a reinvention of a traditional carousel for the 21st century that creates a fully immersive underwater experience by integrating sculptures, movement, light and music.”

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.

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. Each SeaGlass ride is defined by a distinct piece of music. Each piece is a mixture of original compositions and melodies from renowned Classical pieces interpreted in a multitude of genres such as an EDM arrangement of Saint-Saëns, World Beat Mozart and Jazz Fusion Ravel all adapted by SiriusXM’s in-house composer Teddy Zambetti.

“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.

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 in June, along with a completely renovated comfort station on the north side of the park. 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 was fabricated and assembled by Show Canada, an artistic and architectural team from Montreal. Lighting design provided by Kyle Chepulis of Technical Artistry. NY Carousel, Ride Entertainment’s New York operations team, will operate this new cultural attraction.

On opening day, Thursday, August 20, SeaGlass will be open from 1 p.m. – midnight. Thereafter, SeaGlass will be open daily to the public from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., every month except January and February.

Admission to SeaGlass Carousel is $5 per ride. Access to The Battery is free and open to the public.
The fish in SeaGlass Carousel are available for sponsorship at the $100,000 level. The name of each fish sponsor will be featured on a small plaque on the inside of the fish. By sponsoring a fish, donors ensure that the fish and its surrounding area are well cared for and maintained.

This project has been made possible through a grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), which is funded through Community Development Block Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Additional support provided by the Office of the Mayor; Bloomberg Philanthropies; New York City Council; The Seth Sprague Educational and Charitable Foundation; Sullivan & Cromwell LLP; Susan and Jack Rudin on behalf of the entire Rudin Family; Tiffany & Co. Foundation; Melvyn Kaufman; Office of the Manhattan Borough President; Goldman Sachs; New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; The Robertson Family; A. Alex Porter; American Express; Barbara and Michael Kowalski; Beth Rudin DeWoody and Firooz Zahedi; Bettysue and Jeff Hughes; Courtney, John & Thomas Robinson; Cydney and Tom Marsico Family Foundation; Families of Elizabeth and Lawrence Blau; Diana and Peter Gonzalez; Melinda and Thomas Hassen; Frances Schultz; Georgia Delano; The New York Community Trust - LuEsther T. Mertz Advised Fund; Jane Gregory Rubin; Lucy R. Waletzky, M.D.; Ophelia and William C. Rudin; Patricia M. Dunnington; Sally S. Kleberg; Stuyvesant and John-Jay Comfort; The Birch and Casdin Families; The Bisignano Family; The Dowling Family; The Moody's Foundation; The Rachel and Lewis Rudin Family Foundation; and Warrie and James Price.

The Battery Conservancy extends a special thanks to New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, LMDC Chairman Joseph Chan, and LMDC President David Emil.

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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Phil & Co.
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