A part of Chelsea Piers that saw historic ocean liners RMS Lusitania and RMS Mauretania sail out of New York, as well as the arrival of The Titanic’s survivors aboard The Carpathia in 1912, is finally ready to begin its new life. Cunard’s former Pier 54 is now being transformed into an iconic floating park above the Hudson River called Pier 55, designed by Thomas Heatherwick.
Construction on the first nine piles has been completed for the 2.7-acre park, dubbed Pier55, planned in the Hudson River. The location is near the Meatpacking District off West 13th Street. The pilings mark the end of the first phase of construction, DNAinfo reported. The public park is expected to have grassy hills, vegetation, recreational space with paths and seating, and an amphitheater. The London-based design firm Heatherwick Studio and New York-based Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects are behind the design. A partnership between The Diller – von Furstenberg Family Foundation and the Hudson River Part Trust is developing the project. The pedestrian bridge connecting the park to Manhattan will be built by the city. Completion is expected in 2019.
In June of 2015, slight changes to Pier55’s design were revealed as the park project was making its way through the approval process. Now, the Hudson River Park Trust has announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has green-lighted the project, according to Crain’s. The 2.7-acre, 62-foot-tall structure, to be built off the Meatpacking District in the Hudson River, will include grassy hills, recreational event space, and an amphitheater. It will connect to Manhattan via a pedestrian bridge at West 13th Street. The bridge will be funded with federal money, but the park itself is being financed by a non-profit partnership between Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg. The duo have already contributed $113 million, and construction is expected to kick off in early May.
While the proposed park off the Meatpacking District, dubbed Pier55, waits for the Army Corps of Engineers and State Department’s approval, the project’s landscape architecture firm Mathews Nielsen has made small tweaks to the design. The park’s highest elevation has been lowered to 62 feet, according to Curbed, and vegetation will be very diverse. An amphitheater will be located near the back, and federal funds have been allotted for the park’s 13th Street pedestrian bridge. Construction is expected to begin in 2016.
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