The transformation of the west side continues, with new renderings unveiled for Pier 97 and construction scheduled for this summer. Hudson River Park plans to have the pier open by fall 2022.
The concrete slab at the end of W57th Street has lain dormant for many years while funds were raised and the community engaged in consultations on how best to use the space. Now design firm !melk has reimagined the pier on behalf of their client, the Hudson River Park. Phase one of construction on the pier is scheduled to be completed by fall 2022. The second phase will add comfort stations north of the pier and should be delivered by summer 2023.
The work had been planned to start last September, but was delayed by the pandemic.
The reinvention of the space will boast a playground, activity field, picnic areas, water sprays and a sloping lawn. In keeping with its original use when Hell’s Kitchen was a busy port, it is planned to have a historic ship docked on the south side of the pier. The area will be integrated into Clinton Cove — and fronted with a new bike path that’s being funded by $5m from the state.
Jerry van Eyck, !melk’s founder and principal, shared the renderings and designs with Urbanize today: “The park design harmoniously combines subconscious references to its former existence as an active port, which is expressed in our choice of materiality and textures. This, together with a cohesive and contemporary use of geometries, design elements, and arrangement of plant material, we were able to deliver an immersive park experience that celebrates the soul of a neighborhood with a rich history. It was important to us to create a place that offers a variety of completely different environments and settings, all within one cohesive, holistic, singular identity.”
The development of the two-acre Pier 97 will cost $38 million to develop. In contrast, the 5-month minimalist development of the former NYPD Tow Pound at Pier 76 cost $31m. Pier 97 is overlooked by Bjarke Ingels’ VIA pyramid — which has become a Hudson River landmark. In recent years, the pier has been used for summer concerts, including PRIDE Island with Madonna for World Pride 50 in 2019.
Manhattan Community Board 4 chair, Lowell Kern, said: “MCB4 is excited for construction to begin on the innovative design for Pier 97. It has been too long that the northern end of Hudson River Park has remained unfinished and we look forward to this needed addition.”
This pier adds to the other work underway and recently completed along the 4.5-mile Hudson River Park. Gansevoort Peninsula is set to become a public beach, Little Island at Pier 55 has become an instant hit with New Yorkers, and Pier 76 was opened this week by Governor Andrew Cuomo.