Governor Andrew Cuomo took the stage at a star-studded Tribeca Festival lunch to get the opening of Pier 76 underway this afternoon. He chatted with New York A-Listers Whoopi Goldberg and Robert De Niro (who was sitting in an armchair, recovering from a recent leg injury).
This afternoon at 3pm, the Governor cut a ribbon to formally open the former NYPD Tow Pound to the public. It was the threat of a $12 million parking ticket by Cuomo that finally got NYPD to depart Pier 76 in January. Since 1998, the state and local pols had been trying to force the police to move their Manhattan Tow Pound from 12th Avenue and W36th Street, to give over the five-acre site to community open space.
As well as getting a sneak peek of the stars, we also managed to admire the river views north, south and west from the pier. Hudson River Park has created signboards on each side to help orientate visitors unfamiliar with the west side vista.
In less than 5 months the pier has been transformed, and today the only ticket in sight will be for those lucky enough to be attending the world premiere of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights in the northwest quadrant of the site at the Tribeca Festival.
The skin of the tow pound has been entirely removed, leaving a steel skeleton. The structural framework for the building has been repainted in New York State colors, with a large Excelsior State Seal. Planters have been added to the area and a recent addition has been a propeller from the SS United States.
Cuomo said before the ribbon cutting: “”What this Pier 76 says is yes you can reimagine what you want to see, and you can do it. This is the greatest state on the globe with all the potential or the talent. If you dream it and if you commit yourself to it, you can do it. That’s Pier 76. We’re going to take this moment in history, with this unity, with this strength, and we’re not rebuilding. We’re going to re-imagine the New York that never was and we’re going to make it a reality.”