Lower Manhattan and the East River: an investigation into the renewal of the Lower East Side waterfront Thesis

thesis or dissertation chair

fiu authors

  • Edge, Todd A.


  • With the mid-20th Century construction of an elevated highway along Manhattan’s East River, the declining neighborhood of the Lower East Side was removed from its waterfront. As cities begin to re-examine their edges, I feel it is appropriate to address the issues of the Lower East Side community and its former riverfront. Utilizing the recent developments in Manhattan, London, and Chicago as a basis for determining how metropolitan areas are attempting to reconnect with their shores, a set of questions were developed, analyzed, and then applied to the Lower East Side. With the analysis of these questions providing the groundwork for the project, the main concern turns to the elevated highway that has cut through the community along the water’s edge. There are three possible solutions for the future of this ‘wall’ in order to reconnect the Lower East Side with the East River. The first two solutions examine the idea of demolishing the elevated FDR Drive in favor of subterranean or surface streets. The other solution examines the possibility of redesigning the existing elevated highway. In the end, the project focuses on an urban design and planning program that re-establishes the connections between the community and the waterfront.

publication date

  • December 13, 2001

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)