The Corning Preserve, a 15-acre multi-use waterfront in Downtown Albany, is an essential piece of the City’s urban fabric and a significant connection to its most scenic natural resource, the Hudson River.
Though the landscaped area is a major destination, its public access is primarily limited to a single pedestrian bridge, an indirect route from the warehouse district, or to those travelling by car along Quay Street. Connectivity to the Corning Preserve is highly disrupted by twelve lanes of moving traffic (including Interstate-787 and its frontage roads), and a freight rail line nestled within the highway corridor.
Albany’s Department of Development and Planning, along with the Corning Preserve Steering Committee and a team of consultants (Stantec; Goody Clancy) are working together to create the Corning Preserve Master Plan, a strategy of Albany 2030 to maximize the opportunities along the City’s waterfront.
The Corning Preserve Master Plan is a collective endeavor to outline existing amenities and prioritize future improvements. And in coordination with Capitalize Albany's "Impact" (the Downtown Tactical Plan), the Corning Preserve Master Plan gives visualization to the Preserve’s role within the community and those elements that can be improved in order to make it a more valuable asset to the future (re)development of Downtown Albany. This project is being funded by the New York State Department of State, under Title 11 of the Environmental Protection Fund.
Public support at local interactive meetings (held October 17-19, 2013 and January 28, 2014) and through social media (facebook, twitter #AlbanyWaterfront) have brought to light valuable ideas, needs, expectations and creative uses that have helped our consulting design team spatially organize major program elements and prepare visual concept plans. (See how the Master Plan was developed, the multiple Phases of anticipated construction, and the finalized concept for the Preserve... down below.)
Transportation and Connectivity Phase: Improvements Underway at the Corning Preserve. In part with the Corning Preserve Master Plan agenda, the City is moving forward to implement Transportation and Connectivity Enhancements, which aim to improve visitor accessibility to the Corning Preserve no matter what mode of transportation they are using. Enhancements include multi-use paths, bicycle and pedestrian crossings, improved access points at five locations, street amenities, signage and an updated Maiden Lane connection to Downtown. Public outreach was conducted at City Hall in June, 2014 in coordination with NYSDOT and the Federal Highway Administration, to gather feedback on the proposed designs for this first phase of our waterfront transformation. (See the presentation outlining these improvements... down below.)