The new Riverside Skatepark, aka Andy Kessler Skatepark had it’s official ground breaking ceremony on Saturday (6/8). In attendance was NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, Manhattan Borough Parks Commissioner William Castro, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Council Member Mark Levine, NY State Senator Robert Jackson and Riverside Parks Conservancy Administrator John Herrold and of course some of Andy Kessler’s old friends.
Special Thanks to Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Council Members Mark Levine and Helen Rosenthal and NY State Senator Robert Jackson for securing the $2.6 million funding.
The 23 year old Riverside Skatepark, designed and built by Andy Kessler and opened in 1996 was New York’s first serious skatepark, Andy Kessler went on to instigate and design other skateparks across the 5 boroughs. All the skateparks in NYC come from Andy Kessler’s initial efforts at Riverside Skatepark.
Andy Kessler tragically died from an allergic reaction to a wasp sting in 2009.
The old Riverside skatepark was built of wooden framed ramps with steel plate surfacing and stood up remarkably well for 23 years but was showing it’s age.
The new skatepark will be a modern concrete design, featuring a street plaza and vert bowl. The vert bowl will be 11ft deep with 18” of vert, this will be 1’ deeper than the 10ft deep Chelsea Pier 62 bowl that has almost no vert. The new vert bowl will be closer in size to the famous round Combi Bowl in California.
Photos by Ali Axlerod and Ian Clarke