a stone walking street for Lower Manhattan

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey


Cortlandt Way is a new pedestrian shopping “street” at the World Trade Center. As project manager with PWP Landscape Architecture, Matt Donham worked to balance the goals of numerous stakeholders including New York City Planning, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Westfield, their retail partner, and Silverstein Properties, leaseholder and builder of the adjacent towers. Through careful attention to texture, material, and scale, the street brings an unexpected intimacy to this narrow passage between two massive skyscrapers.

Legally a private plaza, Cortlandt Way also had to meet strict accessibility standards despite the significant slope along its length. A grading strategy of terraced “sidewalks” interconnected by accessible landings within the ramped “carriageway” allows entry to shops along the full length of Cortlandt Way and creates a variety of spaces using the elements of the solution--i.e. walls, steps, and curbs. 

The massive, interconnected structures of the adjacent towers posed significant technical challenges for  growing healthy trees. Beam and tree locations were carefully coordinated to balance weight restrictions and adequate soil volumes. Irrigation, and drainage systems were factored into the engineering of the structures.  

Work performed at PWP Landscape Architecture. Collaboration with: Maki and AssociatesRogers Stirk Harbour + PartnersAdamson AssociatesAKF EngineersFisher Marantz StoneWSP Cantor Seinuk. See news about Corltandt Way at The Observer and The Architect's Newspaper.