Amid the car horns and bustling streets of Downtown White Plains, a green oasis has emerged. Formerly a nondescript brick-lined courtyard, City Square Rooftop Park is now a lush 35,000 sq. ft. park, home to amenities such as a two-tiered putting green, bocce court, outdoor dining, and walking paths. Located in the middle of City Square’s three buildings, at the crossroads of Martine, Lexington, and Main, the park acts as a tranquil escape from office spaces and apartments that surround it. Residents and office workers in those buildings can sit on benches or lounge chairs, take strolls, or exercise on the quarter-mile track.
Designed and installed by Hawthorne’s Ginsburg Development Companies (GDC), the $2.4 million project took place over the course of a year. Although it was completed just prior to the U.S. outbreak of the pandemic, the park didn’t open officially until March of 2021. Leoncio L. Torres, chief architect at GDC, details how the design team for the park achieved its inviting green aesthetic. Emphasizing beauty and functionality, the team steered away from basketball courts and playgrounds and looked instead toward more organic enhancements. “It was imperative to make the park seem as natural as possible, not only for aesthetic reasons but also so it became a place where people actually want to spend time,” Torres explains. By collaborating with award-winning artificial-grass company SYNLawn, GDC was able to utilize numerous types of grasses, along with a smattering of live plants, to give the park a varied yet idyllic landscape.
Another aspect of the rooftop’s scenic beauty is a fully functional stream that meanders through the park. Torres admits that the project had its share of logistical challenges but says the result was worth it. “Who would imagine putting a stream on a roof? That’s crazy!” he says. “But we ran with the idea to create something that hadn’t really been seen before.” Torres adds that the park will be open to the public for special events.
The hard work seems to have paid off, yielding an Arcadian escape in the heart of Westchester.