Alexandra Lange
Architecture & design critic

Fantasy Island

Tooling around the outer edge of Governors Island on a glorious spring day, it hardly seems like it would be difficult to motivate people to go out there. What you see looking out is the movie version of New York City, the coming-to-America view of the Statue of Liberty, the glittery skyscrapers along the Battery. What you see looking in is Nolan Park, a charming row of yellow clapboard houses, flowering trees that shiver pink petals over the lawns; Fort Jay, its bermed sides covered in grass—and, on the South Island, an 80-acre wasteland of Coast Guard structures, slowly falling to pieces.