Volume 74, Number 55 | May 25 - 31 , 2005

Villager photo by Elisabeth Robert

Peering inside “Private Passage,” an art installation at the new Clinton Cove park at W. 54th St. in the Hudson River Park.

A boathouse and a bottle as boat at waterfront park

By Albert Amateau

Clinton Cove, a 2.3-acre green park with a new boathouse, a get-down ramp that allows visitors to dangle their feet in the Hudson River and a 30-foot-long wine bottle, opened last week, the second major section of Hudson River Park completed in the past two years.

The wine bottle, resting on its side and made of steel with portholes to allow visitors to peer inside at a replica of an ocean liner stateroom, is “Private Passage,” by Malcolm Cochran, the first site-specific art installation in the 5-mile-long park.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg cut the ribbon at the May 19 ceremony on the waterfront between W. 54th and 57th Sts. with help from members of the Hudson River Park Trust, the state-and-city agency building the riverfront park between Chambers and 59th Sts.

The Village section of the park, including Pier 45 at Christopher St., was completed and opened to the public in the spring of 2003.

The new $12.5 million Clinton Cove Park is on the site of the former municipal concrete plant. The boathouse, funded by a $60,000 donation by Friends of Hudson River Park, a community-based group that advocates for the park, will accommodate small human-propelled craft like kayaks and canoes.

Datner Architects, Miceli Kulik Williams landscape architects designed the park, which was constructed under the Trust’s supervision by DMJM-Harris and Sanska/McKissack.

Bloomberg, who was introduced by Connie Fishman, the Trust’s president, told the crowd of state and city officials and parks advocates that his administration has set aside $65 million in the city executive capital budge to continue the development of waterfront parks. The mayor also noted the completion last week of a concept plan for an East River park from the Battery to Chinatown.

Commissioner Bernadette Castro of the state Department of Parks and Historic Preservation represented Governor Pataki at the ceremony, noting that Pataki had announced on May 18 that the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation was making $70 million available for the construction of the Tribeca segment of Hudson River Park.

City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe — who along with Castro is also a member of the Trust’s board of directors — boasted that “Soon we’ll be able to walk or bike from the Battery all the way up to Inwood Hill Park.” He noted that the third phase of Riverside Park South, which begins at 59th St. where Hudson River Park ends, would open soon. Riverside Park South, between 59th and 72nd Sts., is being built by a public benefit organization funded by the Trump Organization’s residential development of the former Penn rail yards.

Volunteers with the Downtown Boathouse on the Tribeca waterfront were out on their boats at the May 19 opening. Boathouse volunteers will run the new Clinton Cove boathouse as well as the Pier 26 Boathouse Downtown at N. Moore St.

Among the guests at Clinton Cove were Trust board members Madelyn Wils, former State Senator Franz Leichter and Julie Nadel. Former Trust board chairperson James Ortenzio was also on hand. Friends of Hudson River Park was represented by its president Albert K. Butzel.

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