Volume 73, Number 40 | February 04 - 10, 2004

C.B. 1 O.K.’s Pier 40 plan; trapeze still in air

By Albert Amateau

The Waterfront Committee of Community Board 1 enthusiastically supported the Hudson River Park Trust’s plan for the interim ball field in the courtyard of Pier 40 at a Jan. 28 meeting, at which the head of the trapeze school in Hudson River Park also presented a preliminary plan to enclose the trapeze in a tent.

Jonathan Conant, director of the Trapeze School of New York, presented a preliminary plan for a tent that would shade the trapeze at Desbrosses St. in Hudson River Park from direct sun during the hottest days of summer and allow it to be used in rainy weather and during the winter.

Conant, however, acknowledged that Tribeca neighborhood and park advocates are opposed to anything that would block view corridors to the river. But he told Linda Roche, who chaired the meeting, that he hopes to maintain the trapeze school in the park even without the tent. The trapeze school completed its second season in the park in October.

Roche said she enjoyed a recent foray on the trapeze, but she said weather-protective covering could cause problems by blocking river views.

The Waterfront Committee unanimously approved the interim plan for Pier 40. Connie Fishman, Hudson River Park Trust president, said the large courtyard field would include dugouts with drinking fountains and bleacher seats in addition to a new bathroom. When spectators are expected, the Trust would bring in Portosan portable toilets, Fishman added.

The plan, however, has no provision for a new bathroom on the roof of the pier. An existing bathroom on the second floor would serve the new rooftop promenade, she said.

In response to the request for more unprogrammed space at the Jan. 21 public meeting on the interim plan, Fishman said the existing soccer field on the roof could be opened for passive use when not booked by soccer leagues. The Trust is also seeking ways to expand the proposed rooftop promenade. “The issue is really cars,” Fishman said, referring to the plan to continue private auto parking on the pier under the interim use.

The $4.4 million sports field and promenade project is expected to be completed in September.


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