A Special Villager Supplement
Hudson River Park
Tribeca and Chelsea sections starting to take shape
By Christopher W. Martin
Building toward the 10th anniversary of the Hudson River Park Act, 2007 witnessed several accomplishments in construction and park use that brought the vision of a completed and fully operational park one step closer to reality. This past year saw a tremendous amount of construction in Chelsea and Tribeca, as well as Pier 86 at W. 46th St., and the parks completed sections were enjoyed by millions of visitors.
Located just north of the Chelsea Piers sports and entertainment complex and slated for completion in 2009, Chelsea Cove will include three new public park piers, a 3.5-acre lawn, groves of trees, a wildflower meadow and public garden, a carousel and a skateboarding park. In 2007, the Hudson River Park Trust began pile-driving at Pier 62, completed the construction of the Pier 64 marine work, and finished the 25th St. maintenance building at the northern edge of the area. Pile-driving for Piers 62 and 63, and upland construction at Chelsea Cove will continue throughout 2008.
The Tribeca section will feature two spectacular new piers and an extraordinary upland park. The Tribeca sections Pier 25 will stretch 1,000 feet out into the Hudson River and have numerous community amenities, including an exciting new playground, practice recreation field, mini-golf and snack bar, beach volleyball and mooring field. Pile-driving was completed on Pier 25 in 2007 and the new pier deck has now been installed.
Pier 26 is slated to include a community boathouse, waterside cafe and a future estuarium devoted to the ecology of the Hudson River. A large section of Tribecas upland area was substantially completed, and a considerable portion will be opened in the summer of this year: That will include basketball courts, tennis courts (already complete), public art and beautiful landscaping with natural grasses, lawns and gardens.
The Trust, its board of directors and the parks advisory council continue to work together with the community and the potential developers on the development of Pier 40 at W. Houston St. The focus of 2007 was evaluating the development submissions, the target of which remains repairing the piers deteriorating infrastructure, preserving the equivalent of 50 percent of the piers footprint as public open space, and creating a revenue stream that will support the self-sustaining mission of the park for maintenance and operations.
Finally, as one of New Yorks premier recreational destinations, Hudson River Park had something to offer everyone in 2007. The parks many lawns, gardens and piers offered numerous opportunities for active and passive recreation, including sunbathing, reading, picnicking, sports or simply watching one of the Hudson Rivers spectacular sunsets. The park also had a full calendar of free public events that included first-rate music, movies, dancing and educational programs, all of which were experienced in the parks beautiful waterfront setting.
Martin is vice president of marketing and public affairs, Hudson River Park Trust