NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — One of the largest green roofs in the city was unveiled Thursday – all 30,000 square feet of it.
As CBS2’s Cindy Hsu reported, it now looks like a resort – but it was a concrete roof just a year ago. On Thursday, the finishing touches were being added to the green roof, which is part of The Whitehall Co-op in the Riverdale section of the Bronx.
Underneath the roof is a garage and a school, and when the co-op was required to fix the roof for leaks, residents decided to go all out. They included gazebos made from teak wood and lots of greenery that is already attracting signs of nature.
“I’ve already seen bees pollinating the plants here, which when this was just a 30,000 square-foot of concrete, you never saw anything — just people baking in the sun.” said Len Daykin, a board member at The Whitehall.
Now, there is something on the roof for everyone. For the kids, one area will have two playgrounds in just a few weeks, and for the folks who like to walk for exercise, there is a walking path winds throughout the green roof made out of recycled tires.
The place is designed by the same landscape architects who worked on the High Line. When you look at the one-story building from high above, you can see what an oasis it is in the middle of city life.
“We’re about 100 yards from the Henry Hudson Parkway, but you can’t hear it,” said Jeffrey Moerdler, board president at The Whitehall.
Currently, you can hear the birds. When the green roof finished, you’ll hear water running in a fountain.
The trees also have a long way to go.
“This is one of the four-foot deep pits to allow rooting area for a full size tree,” Moerdler said. “The tree here is going to be 30 feet, 40 feet tall.”
And all the rainwater will help water the plants instead of flowing into the sewer system. Many residents see the green roof as the wave of the future for urban living.
“They keep talking about the city as a concrete jungle, and I think we’re doing all we can to dispel that,” Daykin said.
The project cost $6.5 million and it was paid for by refinancing the mortgage on the building.