West Point Foundry Preserve Park designed by Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects was recently opened to the public. The park is located in the Village of Cold Spring, New York, on a dramatic 87-acre, forested site along the Hudson River. The $3.6-million sustainable park interprets the locale’s historic ruins while respecting and revealing its industrial and ecological history.
Scenic Hudson, the largest environmental group focused on protecting and restoring the Hudson Valley, owns the preserve and commissioned Mathews Nielsen for the project, which was supported in part by a Preserve America grant.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, West Point Foundry was created at the request of President James Madison to address national armaments production following the War of 1812. Operating between 1817 and 1911, it reached peak production during the Civil War and later contributed to America’s Industrial Revolution. Mathews Nielsen worked closely with a research team from Michigan Technological University’s Industrial History and Archaeology Program, sponsored by Scenic Hudson, to develop its sustainable design for the site’s park.
Stimulating the mind and the senses, the park educates visitors about the foundry’s significance while showcasing the natural beauty of the surrounding wetlands and forest. Historic paths and rail lines have been reinterpreted to connect building ruins and provide ADA access. Displays educate visitors about the site’s past, and exhibits at Foundry Cove highlight the renewal of the preserve’s marsh as well as its abundant wildlife. The park is one of more than 35 that Scenic Hudson has created or enhanced along the river.
Owner: Scenic Hudson
Lead Designer, Landscape Architecture and Interpretive Design: Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, PC
Engineering: GHD Consulting Engineers, LLC
Historic Stabilization: Li/Saltzman Architects, PC and Liam O’Hanlon Engineering, PC
Exhibit and Interpretive Design: C&G Partners, LLC
Survey: Badey and Watson Surveying and Engineering, PC
Traffic: Frederick P. Clark Associates
Archaeological Monitoring Report: Hartgen Archeological Associates, Inc.
Estimator: Slocum Consulting
Environmental: Ecosystems Strategies
All images Elizabeth Felicella