Volume 76, Number 27 | November 29 - December 5, 2006

Top: A map showing an overview of Chelsea Cove. Above: A sketch of the “Great Lawn” at Chelsea Cove.

Chelsea Cove to feature lawn, stone field, carousel

By Albert Amateau

Landscape architects working on the Chelsea segment of the 5-mile-long Hudson River Park made a detailed presentation earlier this month of plans for the Chelsea Cove section.

The cove, currently under construction, includes the shoreside Pier 63 and the upland area bounded by two finger piers — Pier 62 on the south and Pier 64 on the north. The plans, by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, shown at a Nov. 8 event sponsored by Friends of Hudson River Park, include a central large “lawn bowl” sloping down from the shoreside Pier 63 and sloping up to plantings along the bikeway walkway.

Part of the grass of the “lawn bowl” will actually be built on top of Pier 63. Where Pier 63 meets the shore there will be openings cut, allowing parkgoers to see and hear the Hudson River splashing against the shoreline.

A garden with seating, tables and winding paths will lead to the lawn and to Pier 62, which will include a skateboarding and inline skating area, a carousel and an open plaza at the end of the pier.

On the north side of the cove, a small meadow with tall standing stones will lead to Pier 64, which will feature a mall with trees that flower in spring.

Matt Urbanski, the Van Valkenburgh associate who made the illustrated presentation at the McBurney YMCA on W. 14th St. on Nov. 8, noted that the design has been evolving since 2002 when a preliminary plan was submitted to the Hudson River Park Trust.

“It has improved with community consultation,” he said.

Chelsea activists, including Robert Trentlyon, a founder of Chelsea Waterside Park Association, and Ed Kirkland, a Chelsea preservation advocate, hailed the plans for the cove.

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