Domino Park’s design capitalizes on the expanse of the East River and sweeping views of Manhattan. (Daniel Levin)

In the summer of 2020, Urban Land profiled online and in print each finalist for 2020’s ULI Urban Open Space Award. The winners have been announced and Domino Park is one of the two winners. Learn more about award-winning and innovative open-space projects as part of the 2020 ULI Virtual Fall Meeting.

Owner: Two Trees Management
Designer: James Corner Field Operations
Additional team members: Philip Habib & Associates; Silman; Altieri Sebor Wieber LLC; Soucy Aquatik, Noë & Associates; Mark Reigelman; Site Masters Inc.; Lighting Workshop; Craul Land Scientists; Northern Designs; Kelco; SHoP Architects (with Vishaan Chakrabarti)
Size: 5 acres (2 ha)
Date opened: June 2018
Total cost: $50 million (excluding land acquisition)

Domino Park is the first phase of the transformation by Two Trees Management of the former Domino Sugar Factory site into an ambitious mixed-use development project, located in an area with one of the lowest ratios of open space to people. Inspired by community input and the site’s rich history, Domino Park reconnects the Williamsburg neighborhood to the East River for the first time in 160 years.

The park showcases the history of an iconic industrial waterfront site by integrating more than 30 large-scale salvaged relics—including 21 original columns from the raw sugar warehouse, plus gantry cranes, screw and bucket conveyors, and syrup tanks—into the interpretive and educational Artifact Walk. The park is raised above Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood elevations, with many native plant species that reduce stormwater runoff and function as a sponge and first line of defense against sea-level rise. Domino Park offers a wide range of active and passive uses and has been embraced by the diverse community it serves, with over 2 million visitors since opening in June 2018.

Click to zoom. As the first phase of the 11-acre (4.5 ha) site’s transformation into an ambitious mixed-use development, Domino Park represents a commitment to deliver five acres (2 ha) of public space to the surrounding community. (James Corner Field Operations)


Domino Park offers a range of amenities such as a beach volleyball court, a playground, a dog run, a taco stand, water features, lawns, and plentiful seating. Last summer, the park had more than 100 free public events, attended by nearly 7,000 people. (Alex S. Maclean/Landslides)


The park’s materials are inspired by the tough, industrial character of the Williamsburg waterfront, including weathered steel, galvanized and stainless steel, concrete, and reclaimed wood from the raw sugar warehouse. (Barrett Doherty)


The park’s specific mix of programming is a direct result of engagement with the surrounding communities, with popular support for the park to be family oriented, celebrate history, and include a beach volleyball court in particular. (Barrett Doherty)


The elevated walkway’s southern entrance houses a taco stand and leads to an Americans with Disabilities Act–accessible catwalk, supported by 21 columns from the raw sugar warehouse that were salvaged in situ. (Barrett Doherty)