BUTTERMILK BEACH ACCESS PLAN
GOVERNOR’S ISLAND, 2019

Buttermilk Beach Access Plan is a series of two rope ladders, designed to be installed along the Governor’s Island promenade, that provide access to Buttermilk Beach during low tide. As described in the Waterfront Alliance Maritime Activation Plan for Governors Island, tidal timing allows Buttermilk Beach, on the east side of the island facing Brooklyn and Buttermilk Channel, to accommodate at least three hours of on-beach public programming 10 out of every 14 days. Currently there are no formal public access points that allow visitors to touch the water along the Governor’s Island coastline, and there is a six foot drop from the promenade down to Buttermilk Beach.

 

PLAN A: LADDER LIBRARY

The Ladder Library is a portable rope ladder that hooks on to the southern most pole adjacent to the recently fabricated, always locked gate along Buttermilk Beach. The ladder can be borrowed from and returned to Nolan Park House 5B.

 

PLAN B: PERMANENT INSTALLATION

A rope ladder was installed around the bottom of the fence along Buttermilk Beach. It lasted for about a week before it was cut down by Governor’s Island Security. The ladder was retrieved from the security office, where management described their main concern— terrorists kayaking up to the beach with weapons of mass destruction, using the ladder to get onto land, and blowing up the ferry.