Gateway was designated the first urban National Recreation Area on October 27, 1972, exactly one century after Yellowstone became the first national park in the United States and the world. Thirty-five years later, Gateway continues to struggle to meet the aspirations of its founders, to negotiate its relationship with the communities that surround it, and to balance the goals of historic preservation, environmental conservation, and active recreation.

Gateway presents a significant regional resource with incredible infrastructural, ecological and cultural value in the New York metropolitan region, hosting endangered birds, fish and shellfish breeding grounds, marinas, playfields, and cultural relics. It is also the site of combined sewer outfalls, treated wastewater effluent, abandoned buildings, degraded habitat, drowned marshes, former landfills and vast asphalt runways.

Both the complexity of Gateway and the scope of this design competition call for an immense amount of background information about the park. The materials provided throughout the Site Brief area of the website are taken from a Research Report prepared by a team of investigators from Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. The report is comprised of written chapters, extensive mappings, external primary sources and site photographs. It is intended to provide a comprehensive overview of the conflicting issues facing Gateway historically and today.

We are pleased to make the majority of this information available to both competitors and the public-at-large. The Research Report can be downloaded in its entirety for the duration of the competition, and selected images and mappings are available for public browsing throughout this section of the website.

Registered competition entrants click here to access all high-resolution, password-protected downloadable files. (Note: You may also download files individually throughout the Site Brief, however the majority are compressed for optimal web-viewing.)