Work is nearing completion on Little Island, a 2.4-acre park over the Hudson River at Pier 55 in Chelsea. Designed by Thomas Heatherwick with landscape design by MNLA, and managed by the Hudson River Park Trust, the whimsical park is perched atop an undulating array of funnel-shaped concrete pods, with the aim of evoking the image of a leaf floating on water.
Recent photos show that more trees and shrubbery of varying sizes and species have been planted along the slopes of the terrain since our last update in October. Turf has also been laid down around the center of the structure, and metal railings have been installed along the steps, paths, and ramps.
The steel frame of Cunard’s former Pier 54 remains fenced off while it serves as a gated access point for construction materials and vehicles to enter from West Street. This historical artifact will be preserved as a contextual piece of New York City’s waterfront history and will serve as one of the park’s two entranceways.
The park will contain a main central lawn and a playground for children, a 700-seat amphitheater called The Amph, a southeastern overlook at the tip of the park with 180-degree views, a second stage area with a hidden garden called The Glade, and a southwestern overlook perched 63 feet above the water that is accessed by a winding, tree-lined pathway. This pinnacle will provide visitors with views of the Lower Manhattan skyline and sunsets over the Hudson River.
The nearest subway stop is the 14th Street station at the intersection of Eighth Avenue and West 14th Street, with access to the A, C, E, and L trains. From the subway station, people will have to walk west two avenues to reach West Street and Hudson River Park.
Little Island is planned to open sometime this spring.