Currie Park waterfront idea stretches ‘floating plaza’ to Intracoastal

A ‘floating plaza’ stretching into the Lake Worth Lagoon serves as the focal point for Currie Park’s redevelopment, under a master plan linking the public waterfront with adjacent parcels assembled by developer Jeff Greene.

The Palm Beach billionaire, joined by West Palm Beach’s Community Redevelopment Agency, hired MIT urban planners Carlo Ratti Associati in June to come up with a plan for the 47-acre area, which includes a grassy park on a sparkling waterfront a few blocks from the city’s trendy Northwood Road but frequented by homeless people and surrounded by Greene’s vacant lots.

Artist’s renderings of Ratti’s plan envision the area dramatically transformed.

To read the latest headlines from West Palm Beach, go to:

The plan calls for an urban hub that melds residential buildings, shops, eateries and other leisure facilities. Two tree-lined walkways will lead through the park to the water, where the floating pathway begins.

“The floating peninsula will incorporate a series of public facilities, including an organic restaurant with its own hydroponic cultivation, a circular pool, an auditorium and a water plaza,” according to a release from Ratti’s firm.

The plaza would be built upon will be built upon a series of air chambers that automatically open and close, releasing or taking in water according to the number of people walking on the surface. The technology, developed in miniature form with global engineering firm Arup, would be employed on a large scale for the first time in West Palm Beach.

Facebook users, follow for the latest news and updates.

On land, the park terrain would be re-contoured. On its north side, currently a parking lot, “a gently sloping hill will be created, allowing pedestrians to access the area and opening up the view” toward Palm Beach across the water.

Popular current features will remain, including the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial and the park’s boat ramps.

“One of the main goals of the park improvements is to get the walkway along the shore with the ability of folks to literally get down to the waterline and launch kayaks and dip their toes into the water, as well as have hidden storage areas for coffee shops and other attractions,” CRA Executive Jon Ward said Thursday.

Ward cautioned that Ratti’s proposal has not been run by neighbors or city officials for input, let alone the state, which has jurisdiction over the lagoon and Intracoastal Waterway that runs through it. It’s just conceptual at this point, said Ward, who plans to present the design to city commissioners at a CRA meeting Nov. 21.

“This is the beginning of a process,” Ratti added in an email from Europe, where he was traveling this week. “The project will now follow the standard procedure of any architectural project involving both public and private subjects,” he said.

“We aim to reclaim West Palm Beach’s connection to the natural elements that surround it, and give shape to a vibrant new district that will serve as a creative catalyst for the entire city.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Philip Roth dead at 85: Writers, public figures remember Pulitzer Prize-winning author
Philip Roth dead at 85: Writers, public figures remember Pulitzer Prize-winning author

Philip Roth – the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "American Pastoral" and other highly acclaimed works such as "Portnoy's Complaint," "The Human Stain" and "The Plot Against America" – has died of congestive heart failure, The Associated Press reported late Tuesday. He was 85. Fellow writers...
Milkweed feasting more than you realize
Milkweed feasting more than you realize

As we all strive to get our hands on every native milkweed for our states and to the ultimate benefit of the Monarch butterfly I thought I might plug its use for the other guys. Your first thought might be I’m talking about the Queen or Soldier butterflies that are related to the Monarch and also must have milkweeds as larval host plants. That&rsquo...
Sons and Daughters of Italy award scholarships to high school seniors
Sons and Daughters of Italy award scholarships to high school seniors

PALM BEACH COUNTY SCHOOLS FAITH LUTHERAN SCHOOL A fundraiser, Dog Days of Summer, takes place 9 a.m.-1 p.m. June 2 at the school, 555 U.S. 1, North Palm Beach. Activities include a dog wash, bounce house, a midway for kids, fitness demonstrations for people and dogs, free blood pressure screenings, auctions and raffles and refreshments. ALLAMANDA ELEMENTARY...
Jerome Golden Center: Improving the community’s behavioral health
Jerome Golden Center: Improving the community’s behavioral health

What does your agency do? The Jerome Golden Center provides care, compassion, and scientifically proven best practices for mental health and substance use disorders in Palm Beach County. Accredited by the joint commission and certified by Nonprofits First for excellence in nonprofit management, the center fills a deep need by serving as the largest...
9 tips for using mirrors in your space

Mirrors are one of those accessories that tend to be either overused or underused. They come in all shapes and sizes, colors and finishes, and as such serve as the perfect complement to nearly any space. Mirrors can be purposeful in design, and if used thoughtfully, can add considerable value to a space both aesthetically and functionally. When looking...
More Stories