HRPT Moves Ahead with Plans for ‘Beach,’ Park and Historic Sculpture for Gansevoort Peninsula
Above: An overview rending of the Hudson River Park Trust’s plan for the Gansevoort Peninsula, with the proposed scenic beach at left and “Day’s End” sculpture at left, the ballfield in the upper center, and the picnic grove to its right.
Below: This view illustrates the planned “Day’s End” sculpture, along with the kayak launch and beach.
The Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT) has released a package of three requests for proposals (RFPs) intended to kickstart the process of transforming the Gansevoort Peninsula—a five-acre-plus chersonese that juts out from the West Side waterfront, between Gansevoort and West 13th Streets—into a new public amenity.
Plans call for a scenic beach (more for viewing the water than public bathing, owing to concerns about hygiene and safety), along with a 56,000-square-foot ballfield for use by local youth leagues, a playground, an outdoor “river gym” (consisting of rust-proof calisthenics equipment), a dog run, and public restrooms.
Guests in search of quiet enjoyment will be drawn to a pair of groves—one set aside for picnicking and the other featuring pine trees and winding foot paths. And those seeking an aesthetic experience will savor a new, large-scale public art work: a sculpture by David Hammons, consisting of a stainless steel frame that will exactly duplicate the position and dimensions of the dock shed on the now-vanished Pier 52, which once traced the southern edge of the peninsula.
A kayak launch is also planned for the site, for parks users who want to come into contact with the Hudson, as well as a salt marsh that will evoke then Hudson waterfront’s natural state, before the onset of modern development.
Above: A children’s playground will be among the many other amenities planned for the Peninsula. Below: The scenic beach will include a kayak launch, and an area for sunbathing.
The entire project is estimated to cost approximately $70 million, with construction slated to begin before the close of this year, and be completed sometime in 2023.
All of these plans are made possible by the City’s decision (spurred by a lawsuit filed in the early 2000s by environmental groups) to remove a Department of Sanitation facility that for decades occupied the bulk of Gansevoort Peninsula. Originally used as an incinerator, the hulking building later served as a parking garage for garbage trucks, and a storage facility for road salt. One other municipal use remains on a sliver of the lot (with no plans to vacate): It serves as the headquarters for the Fire Department’s marine unit.
The “Day’s End” installation will trace the outlines of the former Pier 52 dock shed, into which artist Gordon Matta-Clark cut five large holes in the mid-1970s, as a form of guerrilla art.
Still-earlier history is recalled by the plans for the sculpture by Mr. Hammons. From the years following the Civil War to the 1950s, Pier 52 was used as a freight-transfer station by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. By the 1970s, however, it had been abandoned. In 1975, artist Gordon Matta-Clark broke into the building and cut five large holes in its corrugated tin wall, providing a unique vantage point for viewing the sunset over the Hudson River. The artist, who quickly left New York when the police issued a warrant for his arrest, called his creation, “Day’s End.” In homage, Mr. Hammons is also giving his new piece (created in partnership with the nearby Whitney Museum) the same title.
And a vestige of Manhattan’s legacy street grid will also become accessible to the public once again. Bloomfield Street, which winds for a single block west of 11th Avenue connects to all that remains of a boulevard once known as 13th Avenue, which once ran as far north as 23rd Street. Most of this part of Manhattan’s shoreline was obliterated by dredging, to allow large vessels to dock along 11th Avenue (now known as West Street) without blocking the shipping channel. Today, only a one-block stretch of Thirteenth Avenue remains on the Gansevoort Peninsula (which is actually solid ground, rather than an old pier). This block will be incorporated into the HRPT’s new design for the Gansevoort Peninsula.
For the Birds
To the editor:
The current issue (BroadsheetDAILY January 29) left me wondering about the current mental state of not just our leaders, but of the general population as well.
A new law to require “bird friendly” construction, and the Mayor’s announcement that a new bike lane will be created on the Brooklyn Bridge.
As for the birds, just another ‘woke’ measure that will accomplish nothing except to add to the costs of construction in New York City. As for the bikers, the Brooklyn Bridge is already a nightmare during rush hour in either direction.
I suggest that we re-direct our efforts to give the birds a bird lane across the bridge so they can easily escape Manhattan for fewer tall glass buildings. We can put some bird seed at the Brooklyn side to attract them.
As for the bikers, let Citibike build another bridge.
Transit Hub Becomes Venue for Multiple Violent Crime
The Fulton Center subway and retail complex (at the corner of Broadway and Fulton Street) has been the scene of several violent assaults in recent days. On Friday, January 29, shortly after 11:00 pm, a gang of six young people (four male and two female) quietly entered the Dunkin Donuts location within the facility, and crept up behind a man who was placing an order at the counter. To read more…
Perambulation Now Permitted for All
Niou’s Push to Repeal Law That Targeted Transgender People Signed Into Law
A bill pushed through the State Assembly by member Yuh-Line Niou (who represents Lower Manhattan), which aims to repeal an anti-loitering statute that has come to be known by a bitterly ironic name—the “Walking While Trans” ban—was signed into law on Tuesday. To read more…
Vendor, Vidi, Vici
Council Member and Advocacy Group Score Win for Street Vendors
City Council member Margaret Chin, in partnership with a Lower Manhattan-based nonprofit, has spearheaded the passage of a new law that is poised to revitalize an economic engine of upward mobility for immigrant New Yorkers living near the poverty line.
On January 28, the City Council voted to enact a bill that will gradually lift the limit on the number of street vendor licenses issued by the City, which has been frozen at roughly 3,000 permits since 1983. To read more…
1) 42 Walker Street, application (C200251ZSM) by AMK Holdings LLC for a special permit to modify the maximum building height, the minimum rear yard requirements; and the minimum distance between legally required windows and a rear lot line to allow a one-story enlargement – Resolution
2) Borough Based Jails/Manhattan Detention Complex – Presentation by Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, New York City Department of Design and Construction, Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, New York City Department of Correction, and Deputy Mayor of Operations Office
3) Planning Together: A New Comprehensive Planning Framework for New York City – Presentation by Annie Levers, Assistant Deputy Director of the Office of Strategic Initiatives, NYC City Council
Sounding A Lot Like the Leftists of 2011, Young Republicans Re-Occupy Zuccotti Park
On Sunday afternoon, several dozen members of the New York Young Republican Club gathered in the Financial District to protest alleged stock market manipulation by large traders, at the expense of individual investors.
No judgment for those of you who will want to drop those new year’s resolutions (or whatever other health kicks you’ve got going on) after reading this PSA:
NYC Restaurant Week launched this week, as hundreds of hot spots citywide have been lining up special delivery deals through February 28.
Promotions include lunch or dinner with a side for $20.21, two-course brunches and lunches ($26) and three-course dinners ($42), mostly Monday through Friday. (Some participating restaurants are honoring those prices on weekends.)
Dozens of restaurants south of Chambers Street plan to take part in NYC Restaurant Week, including Brooklyn Chop House, The Fulton, Crown Shy, Stone Street Tavern, The Dead Rabbit and more.
The Restaurant Week website lists several more tempting options to treat yourself — even if it means playing it a little fast and loose with your commitments to fitness. (We won’t tell.)
On Thursday evening, Mayor Bill de Blasio, at his eighth (and final) State of the City address, announced that a dedicated bike lane would be coming to the Brooklyn Bridge (with another slated for the Ed Koch Bridge) before the end of this year.
“The Brooklyn Bridge and the Queensboro Bridge are iconic and deeply intertwined in the daily lives of countless New Yorkers,” Mr. de Blasio said.
1828 – Jules Verne, French author, poet, and playwright (d. 1905)
1693 – The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, is granted a charter by King William III and Queen Mary II.
1887 – The Dawes Act authorizes the President of the United States to survey Native American tribal land and divide it into individual allotments.
1915 – D. W. Griffith’s controversial film The Birth of a Nation premieres in Los Angeles.
1922 – President Warren G. Harding introduces the first radio set in the White House.
1924 – Capital punishment: The first state execution in the United States by gas chamber takes place in Nevada.
1950 – The Stasi, the secret police of East Germany, is established.
1952 – Elizabeth II is proclaimed Queen of the United Kingdom.
1963 – Travel, financial and commercial transactions by United States citizens to Cuba are made illegal by the John F. Kennedy administration.
1974 – After 84 days in space, the crew of Skylab 4, the last crew to visit American space station Skylab, returns to Earth.
1993 – General Motors sues NBC after Dateline NBC allegedly rigs two crashes intended to demonstrate that some GM pickups can easily catch fire if hit in certain places. NBC settles the lawsuit the next day.
2013 – A blizzard disrupts transportation and leaves hundreds of thousands of people without electricity in the Northeastern United States and parts of Canada.
120 – Vettius Valens, Greek astronomer, mathematician, and astrologer (d. 175)
1700 – Daniel Bernoulli, Dutch-Swiss mathematician and physicist (d. 171820 – William Tecumseh Sherman, American general (d. 1891)
1828 – Jules Verne, French author, poet, and playwright (d. 1905)
1925 – Jack Lemmon, American actor (d. 2001)
1587 – Mary, Queen of Scots (b. 1542)
1696 – Ivan V of Russia (b. 1666)
1725 – Peter the Great, Russian emperor (b. 1672)
1936 – Charles Curtis, American lawyer and politician, 31st Vice President of the United States (b. 1860) Hoover’s VP.
1957 – John von Neumann, Hungarian-American mathematician and physicist (b. 1903)
1999 – Iris Murdoch, Irish-born British novelist and philosopher (b. 1919)