"Unlike the ongoing pattern of parks arising on post-industrial sites, the PORT (Publicly Organized Recreation Territory) is a new model of shared use on a dense urban waterfront that integrates the seemingly incompatible interests of active industry and public recreation into a richly overlaid landscape. The PORT is a road salt dock, public park, and wildlife habitat, where the seasonal rhythms of industry are synchronized with the city: the salt stockpile expands during the winter to meet demand, and contracts in the summer when operations decline, allowing the recreation area to grow to include a basketball court, event space, and small bicycle track.
The site was formerly a thirteen million gallon oil tank farm, an environmental burden to the bordering neighborhood. Demolition of the oil terminal reintroduced the city to the working waterfront, previously blocked by a sixty foot steel wall, for the first time in a generation. This re-connection was amplified by light projections on the tanks over several weeks as they disappeared.
The PORT recycles many of the physical structures of the oil terminal, translating their embedded capacities into new uses. A steel oil tank was cut down and reused to retain soil, creating an amphitheater that serves as clean environmental cover on this brownfield site. Geodesic tank roofs were repositioned on columns to create shade structures, lighting scaffolds, and planted with vines that will soon encase the domes in flowers. Barge and truck loading racks, calibrated to the tides, create a new vantage to view decks of passing ships.
On this working waterfront, there are few areas dedicated to support wildlife though it was historically a vital river ecosystem. In the small footprint of the PORT, a dense and highly productive landscape is introduced to attract pollinators and other wildlife to the area."