The Great Falls of Paterson is a natural gem that is also the cornerstone of America’s legacy of economic opportunity. The Master Plan proposes to transform land nestled in Paterson into a contiguous public park that celebrates the nation’s birthplace of planned industry and the ideal of economic independence while showcasing the spectacular Great Falls. The award-winning landscape architectural firm James Corner Field Operations prepared the Master Plan, with funding from the State of New Jersey. Like many national parks, this will also be a state park..
Organized around the idea of an “outdoor living room,” designers propose the park as a place where a complex interweaving of Native American, industrial, and labor histories with natural and cultural heritage serves both tourist and local interests. The metaphor of an “outdoor living room” is intended to highlight the public, civic characteristics of the park, encouraging everyday use by the local community while dramatically showcasing the site’s many extraordinary assets for a broader regional and national audience.
The Master Plan outlines this pivotal opportunity to recover the Great Falls, a portion of the Passaic River, and the various surrounding landscapes and cultural industrial heritage sites, and to reassemble these presently disconnected places and multiple interests into one spectacular new public space. Focused upon implementation, the Master Plan also details how this vision can become a reality, built-in multiple logical phases, over the next several years.