The first new pier in Hudson River Park in more than a decade is now open to the public and it's bringing Manhattan's wetlands back.
Visitors to Pier 26, which is situated between Hubert and Nore Moore streets in Tribeca, can sunbathe on its lounge chairs, take tours of its "tide deck" planted with native shrubs, trees and grasses, and stroll its elevated, cantilevered walkway above the deck to get spectacular city and river views.
The new pier, which was $37.7 million and funded by Citi, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the City of New York and the state's Environmental Protection Fund, also has a sunning lawn, a sports court for children’s play, and multiple lounge areas for enjoying river views.
The opening comes at the perfect time when New Yorkers are living their lives outside as often as they can.
"The opening of Pier 26—the first new park pier in 10 years—is a great achievement for the city and a huge benefit to families all up and down the West Side," Hudson River Park Friends Chair Mike Novogratz said in a statement. "For these neighborhoods, where green space is in short supply, the park is more important than ever. And during the pandemic, you can multiply that by a hundred. The design offers plenty to do for everyone. People can play sports on the new field, learn about the river’s ecology at the Tide Deck, or watch the sunset over the river from a lounge chair."
The pier's short habitat walk, designed by firm OLIN, leads visitors through five native ecological zones: woodland forest, coastal grassland, maritime scrub, rocky tidal zone, and the Hudson River. The River Project will help offer guided tours and educational experiences of the Hudson River shoreline and its plantings.
"Seven years in the making, we are proud to open this entirely unique pier at a time when Hudson River Park has taken on new importance for so many in the face of the current health crisis—providing a much-needed oasis in a city with limited green space," Madelyn Wils, President and CEO of Hudson River Park Trust said. "By designing a pier that brings New Yorkers closer to the city's natural wildlife and habitat, we hope to offer critical hands-on learning opportunities for students, places to play, and plenty of quiet spots for people to take in the nature around them."
And while Pier 26, like the rest of Hudson River Park, was originally conceived as a way to help New York City recover from 9/11, we hope this new pier will play a vital role as we once again look ahead to recovery," she said.
Pier 26 is also home to City Vineyard restaurant and wine bar and Downtown Boathouse, which offers free kayaking.
The Hudson River Park Trust says that the area to the east of the pier will also get a 4,000-square-foot science-themed playground, designed by OLIN and with play features by the Danish playground design firm Monstrum, that will have "larger-than-life" play features in the forms of native and endangered sturgeon species found in the Hudson River. There are also plans for an estuarium, a research and education center featuring live Hudson River fish, next to this playground that will be run by the Trust’s River Project. It's still in its fundraising stage.
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