Concrete Plant Park, built along the Bronx River between 2004 and 2009 for about 10 million dollars (much of which was spent in removing petroleum-tainted soil from the site), runs on the west side of the Bronx River replacing what used to be a concrete batch mix plant between Westchester Avenue and Bruckner Boulevard. Edgewater Road, which used to lead in and out of the plant, in existence from 1945-1987, has found reuse as a park path. The silos, hopper and conveyor structures from the plant have been left in place.
Within the park, the silos hold your eye. Painted a matte kidney-bean pink, the silenced concrete works look like sculpture as much as infrastructure. Even the somewhat clunky concrete bases, which were recast by Parks, add to the composition’s abstract quality. They also provide shade while the new trees mature.
[Landscape architect James] Mituzas said that Parks hopes to eventually use the silos as “green machines,” as water cisterns or power generators with attached photovoltaics, but in the meantime the Parks department spent much of the project’s funding removing petroleum-tainted soil from the site, a former brownfield. “Most of the money went to clean the site,” he said. “It’s come a long way.” Archpaper
In general the park’s a good idea, but I can’t help but think that there were once thousands of jobs along the river (but also lots of pollution and disease) that was replaced by idlers, strollers and frisbee catching dogs. Where did the jobs go?
Adjacent to the park is the ruins of the Westchester Avenue station of the now-defunct New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, running along still-active tracks used by Amtrak on its way to New England. There is a proposal to restore local service by the commuter railroad Metro-North along these tracks, but whether the station house would be restored or demolished for new service is just guesswork in 2021.