One of the largest privately funded parks in the country may be coming to Manhattan's west side, with an expected completion date of 2018 or 2019. The new park, called Pier 55, will replace the crumbling Pier 54 in Hudson River Park, with entrances off 13th and 14th Streets. It’s being financed primarily by billionaire Barry Diller, the chairman of IAC/InterActive Corp, who has pledged to provide $130 million of the $170 million to construct the impressive island oasis. The rest of the funding will come from the city, state and Hudson River Park Trust.
In addition to some lovely rolling hills and abundant greenery, Pier 55 will boast three performance venues, the largest of which will hold 1,000 people in seats with an additional 2,500 on the lawn (Why settle for Shakespeare in the Park when you can have Shakespeare on an island?). Powerhouse producer Scott Rudin has already signed on to oversee performances and events, along with Kate Horton of London’s National Theater and George C. Wolfe, who ran the Public Theater from 1993 to 2004. Diller has pledged to fund performances at the park for the next 20 years.
Plans for the 2.4-acre space are supported by Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo, but still need approval from the full Hudson River Trust board, the Army Corps of Engineers and the state’s Department of Environment Conservation. Since the park doesn’t need to raise any money to get off the ground, however, it’s very likely that construction will start by 2016. See more renderings of the futuristic island oasis, designed by architect Thomas Heatherwick, below.