On Saturday 3rd, 2022, WHSAD Work-Learn-Grow participants went on a site visit trip all over Staten Island to view the sites they’d be working on throughout the school year.
The sites are:
- Richmond Terrace Native Encampment
- Front Street Waterfront
- Downtown Staten Island – Wayfinding and Signage
- The DOMH Building
- Snug Harbor – Guard Station
Throughout the rainy day, students analyzed, took photos, and explored the site. Architecture firm Gensler, which has been one of WHSAD’s longest partners will provide mentoring for students on these various projects.
Students enjoyed this trip and learned more about their sites. Some students met their stakeholders who will provide objectives and visions the students must consider in their work.
Below are experiences from students as well as some statements from some of the stakeholders or other key people participating in the project.
Jayden Maitland, Freshman
The Staten Island Richmond Town trip last Saturday was a great experience. Seeing our site and other sites that were being worked on was nice to see because it set a standard and gave us an insight on the inner workings of architecture and how everything about it is planned. Even though the weather was rainy, it gave depth to how dedicated people were to the project. I also like the fact that we were able to interact with the sites and learn the background on why they were built. I can’t wait to start designing and developing for this project as it will be there for many years to come.
All in all my team and I hope to visit the site when more development starts happening. I also genuinely want to see the progression on the project and know how long the project will take. This trip helped us understand how budgeting in the architecture field works throughout all the projects and will even help us in our future careers. As a team we hope to hear more about the sites and grow from it.
Jordan Louis, Freshman
My site visit for the Richmond Terrance Native Encampment was very interesting because we saw a lot of old houses that look like they were from the 1700s. There was a church, house, a cemetery, and two native houses. The two native houses look really cool. We even got a chance to go inside of one of them. Inside was somewhat roomy but not for a lot of people. My team and I looked at the materials and resources that were used to make the house, so when they are doing the fence, they can use the materials from the house to make it. We also had to scan the area because the people also wanted to put up more houses to fill up the space. As we were taking pictures of the house, I thought I saw something walk past me and I was wondering what was that, and I just brushed it off and kept on taking pictures. After I was done taking pictures, the man mentioned that even though the people died there spirits have not left the place. He has also mentioned that that place is also somewhat high in ghost hunters. When the site visit was over, I felt like I had enough knowledge about the native encampment and also had enough knowledge to know something to make the fence.
There was another site we visited that I don’t remember the name of, but it was one of my favorite ones because of the Chinese Garden. It had ponds, rocks from east China, koi fish, and tiles from China. They said it was built for peace and built for all people. They also said it was a partnership between the American and the Chinese. In the center of the garden, our guides said when the Chinese people were enjoying some of the beer bottles they broke it up and broke up some of the rice bowls and fused them in the center of the garden to make a balance between the Americans and the Chinese which I think is really cool. When the site visit was over, I felt like I had a lot of knowledge of the garden but I feel like I could always have learned a little more.
Abraham Galindo, Junior
My project involves remodeling a street in Staten Island. The project is redesigning Front Street, which is located along the North shore of Staten Island. The purpose is to provide shoreline hardening, resiliency, infrastructure and connectivity needs while providing high-quality waterfront open space. The goal is to provide an area for those who are waiting for the ferry as well as clean up the site since a lot of littering occurs. Another objective is to provide a fun little activity area for residents.
When I went to the site, I was amazed at the amount of litter people leave on the ground as well as how big the area my group is working with. I also noted how plain the street is and how there are no attractions at the site. Surprisingly, we found out people are living near this area, so it’s important that we aim to provide more amenities for those who call this area home. I feel confident since my work will be coming up with ideas to make the site better for the residents.
Our mentor has just set up what she wants us to do and on top of that any other ideas we have about the site. Our mentor has talked to us about some ideas the stakeholders have, and how we were to include our own to make the site feel more welcoming to people. We have all agreed that the site needs to attract people.
Jennifer Segundo, Junior
My project is Lake Como, located in New Jersey. This project is about landscaping a design for the parkway median destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Basically, we cut the median into three main sections that I’m focusing on redesigning : the intermediate section, the area around the flagpole, and the end of the median. The intermediate section includes the ideas I had from last year’s project, and I am now reviewing and improving them for the front part of the median. The area around the flagpole was known for having rose bushes before the Sandy, so community members want something nice and not destroyed. The end of the median is the intermediate section, but in this area I am coming up with a new design. The goal for this year project with Lake Como is to come up with a cohesive design for the median in order to get back to the image before Superstorm Sandy. Plus the median is being supported and taken care of with the help of the residents and everyone who lives nearby, so I want t o design a median that will both love and present Lake Como.
On December 3rd when I went to visit the worksites that this year are going to be worked on, it was a very amazing and wonderful time. Even though it was raining that day and freezing, it was still possible to visit these sites. These sites that we visited were very big and I saw very interesting things around. The site that caught my attention the most was Snug Harbor. It is my favorite site out of all of them, plus it was my second time visiting the site. It is always a very wonderful place to go to and even walk around. This site loves people coming to join with the activities they have and always hearing about their opinions on those activities. The place that caught my eye the most at Snug Harbor was the mediation area they had. Our tour person had told us that they had a rock that meant a lot to them and the significance of it. Plus the design they had on their floor near that rock had a very amazing story beyond it. There were also a lot of rocks and water with fishes around that area. With the rest of the other site visits that we took that day were very amazing experiences and helped me learn more about the others projects. Sadly I didn’t get to visit my site since all of these sites were in Staten Island and mine is the only site that is in New Jersey. Hopefully during the springtime, I will go and visit Lake Como.
Shavar Joyner, Junior
Recently my peers and I went on a trip around Staten Island to observe and take notes regarding the sites we’ll be working on in our Work, Learn, Grow internships. We went to at least four different places for our projects.
My project takes place within a baseball stadium located at Wall St. and Richmond Terrace. Connected to the site is the PATH transit system. My task is to make and create signs directing pedestrians from the station to the stadium.
One thing that kind of had me at a standstill while learning about my project’s plans was how I should design the signs for the project. Luckily, I did ask and gain info on the requested design which could possibly make things simpler for me. My mentor explained the objective really well, and I do believe I fully understand our end goal. If we could, I wish we could have gone inside the stadium so that I can further investigate the stadium’s color theme. But nonetheless, I think with the photos I have taken that I should have enough of an idea to create something that’ll impress my mentors and improve my designs along the way.
Brian Juarez, Senior
My project is Snug Harbor, located in Staten Island. This project is about a guard station that is in Snug Harbor where we went to go visit on a Saturday as a site visit. From knowing about the subject of our design, we could either renovate the guard station or build a completely new guard station. I learned that site has a part that is used as a community garden. It is also a place where people can go to take a walk, a place where they relax. Snug Harbor also has a lot of history to it where it was founded by a sailor named Captain Robert Richard Randall where it was used as a retirement home for sailors.
This was my second time visiting Snug Harbor. I always found it as a place where you can go to relax and relax or clear your mind as it has a lot of different types of trees, flowers, and greenery. Some surprises were the weather and how fast it changed. Another surprise was the amount of people that were there to take a walk and also the activities that happen in Snug Harbor were all different. I feel more confident about the project after the site visit because it helped me get a better understanding of how important it is to have this guard station worked on.