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Aaah, summer… A sandy beach, sunbathing, kayaking and canoeing. Picture the scene — and we’re talking about right here in Manhattan!
Following a recent string of highly publicized developments along the Hudson River, the city has made further plans to beautify its piers, this time by turning the Gansevoort Peninsula into a public park.
If you’re wondering why you’ve never heard of the Gansevoort Peninsula, it’s understandable. Located at the end of Gansevoort Street on the river side of West Street, the 5.5 acres of land were used by the Department of Sanitation until 2018, when the city finished their process of removal.
So what’s going to happen there? Designed by James Corner Field Operations, the team behind the High Line and Domino Park, the plans for Gansevoort Peninsula are a summer’s day fantasy. Along with a large green space with plenty of places to sit and take in the view, the southern end of the park will feature an impressive beach area, complete with sand for sunbathing and water access for kayaks and canoes.
Whether or not a section of the water will be cordoned off and purified to make way for swimming, such as in these turn of the century Hudson River bathhouses, is not known yet.
Beside the beach, the Hudson River Park Trust will partner with the Whitney Museum of Art to feature a permanent art installation by David Hammon, entitled Day’s End, which is currently under construction. With a $70 million price tag and funded by the city, construction on the park itself is due to begin this spring and be completed in 2023.
“Gansevoort Peninsula will be a spectacular public space for all New Yorkers, whether they’re enjoying Manhattan’s first public beach, playing on the ballfields or looking out in the salt marsh,” said Madelyn Wils, Hudson River Park Trust’s president & CEO.
Since the city re-purposed the landfill to construct Chelsea Piers, Gansevoort Peninsula is the only remaining remnant of the once-prominent 13th Avenue. Laid with landfill in 1837,13th Avenue extended from the Meatpacking District up north to around 29th Street, where it merged with 12th Avenue. Although it juts out into the water, the land is technically not a pier.
The Gansevoort Peninsular redevelopment follows a similar path taken at Pier 76. Last weekend, the NYPD followed Governor Cuomo’s long-standing order to empty their tow pound, with the land set to be transformed into an open community space.