I live in the Meatpacking District, the Times Square of downtown, that has seen The Standard Hotel, The High Line elevated park and soon the new Whitney Museum, as exiting neighborhood additions in the last decade. Looks like we might be getting another. An old pier on the Hudson –once used by ocean liners like the Lusitania– will be demolished and replaced with this 2.7 acre park on the water with landscaped hills and an outdoor amphitheater, all financed by billionaire New Yorkers, Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg. DVF said in a statement;
“New York has always reminded me of Venice, so I am happy the time has come to properly honor its waterways. What better than a park on the city’s western bank to rest, watch a sunset or a performance?”
Diller has committed to funding cultural events there for the next 20 years along with donating $130 million to build it. The city will chip in another $17 million with another $18 million from New York State to build an esplanade to the pier park. The NY Times says;
* The park’s parallelogram-shaped platform would sit atop 300 mushroom-shaped concrete columns that are to range in height from 70 feet above the water to 15 feet above, roughly the minimum required post-Hurricane Sandy.
* The undulating form is not merely a design feature, but an attempt to address environmental issues in an area of the Hudson designated as a marine sanctuary and spawning ground for striped bass. The platform’s height would allow sunlight below and would also guard against storms.
*The biggest performance space planned for the park could accommodate up to 1,000 people in seats and another 2,500 on a lawn. Other sections would hold an 800-seat amphitheater and a small stage with 250 seats.
The design is the work of Heatherwick Studio, along with landscape architect Mathews Nielsen. According to Hudson River Park;
“The pier will be a place of discovery, where visitors can wander and wonder, finding something new around every corner: places to lounge, eat lunch, or just lie in the grass. The park’s undulating topography – replete with lush lawns and pathways – will offer sweeping views of the Manhattan and northern New Jersey skylines for all park-goers and provide a natural viewing area for the new performance space, which will be designed to immediately serve as one of New York City’s premier venues for music, dance, theater and public art, along with community events. The majority of Pier55’s programming will be free and low cost, with prices set in accordance with nonprofit programming in New York City.”
If the project is approved, construction could begin next year with an expected completion date of 2018 or 2019.