New Welcome Center to Open on Governors Island

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Governors Island will soon be welcoming visitors like never before!

A new Welcome Center will be the first thing visitors see when disembarking from the Manhattan ferry on Governors Island. Debuting at the end of May, this is just one of the ways the Island’s services are expanding and improving to enhance the visitor experience. Staff and volunteers at the new Welcome Center will greet and orient visitors, providing way-finding and other useful information needed to enjoy all the Island has to offer.

Selected via a competitive design process, the temporary structure activates an under-utilized lawn for multiple uses — as an information hub, a gathering place and a small shop. Upon disembarking, visitors will be able to stop by the 800-square-foot structure to get information and directions, pick up water, sunscreen and other outdoor essentials, grab a branded Island souvenir, or relax on built-in seating in the shade of the soaring wooden canopy roof.

Initially planned to be open on weekends starting in June, the Friends of Governors Island, which funded and will operate the Welcome Center, is looking to expand to daily hours in the future.

Read more about the Center’s unique design in this profile in Architects Newspaper.

In addition to the Center, this year the Island is also debuting two new “Mobile Info Units,” designed by StudioKCA. The first of their kind, these prototype Units consist of a custom outfitted bicycle frame with a cube that unfolds to reveal seating, USB charging stations, map displays and storage. The exterior of the cube raises to become a canopy equipped with solar panels, enabling power and shade on the go.