In Hell’s Kitchen, Pier 97 design process heats up
PIER continued from p. 1
terfront, Parks and Environment Committee
meeting on Thurs., Nov. 8.
“This is literally the kickoff,” said
Kevin Quinn, the Trust’s senior vice
president of design and construction.
The renovation project includes the
pier itself and a portion of the upland
area (onland portion of the park) right
by the pier, for a total of 1.8 acres of
future Hell’s Kitchen amenities.
“We are looking for that fi nal puzzle
piece to make it fantastic here,” said
Jerry van Eyck, founder of !melk. The
design fi rm famously designed an urban
park in the middle of the Las Vegas
Strip and also worked on designs for
the Governors Island master plan.
Some community members mentioned
the popular Pier 25 in Tribeca
— which the Trust touts as its most
heavily used pier — as a possible reference
point for how to design Pier 97.
“Pier 25 meets a lot of the needs of
the community,” said Lowell Kern, C.B.
4 Parks Committee co-chairperson.
He added he wouldn’t necessarily
advocate for duplicating Pier 25 exactly,
but would consider some of its
features for the W. 57th St. pier. Pier
25 includes a mini-golf course, sand
volleyball courts, a playground (currently
undergoing renovations), a turf
lawn for active and passive recreation,
and the historic 85-year-old steamship
Myriad ideas were fl oated at the
Board 4 meeting, echoing pitches from
a meeting earlier this year. Some wanted
historical references embedded into
the design, as well as to expand the
Trust’s historic vessels project to Pier
97. The former maritime pier was used
by the Swedish American Line decades
Others voiced support for lighting
designed to minimize light pollution,
adding an amphitheater, building a
swimming pool that could function as
a skating rink in the winter, a beach,
rock climbing, open green space and
a pedestrian bridge between De Witt
Clinton Park and Pier 97. Some attendees
stressed the need for public
restrooms, noting that nearby activities
already lack adequate facilities for the
waterfront park, which is jam-packed
in good weather.
Skateboards and helmets in tow, a
skateboarding family and their friends
advocated for a skatepark, similar to
the one at Pier 62, at W. 22nd St., also
in Hudson River Park.
For Mary Apple, a Chelsea resident
and mother of two young children, having
skateparks allows her kids to skateboard
somewhere safe. She said her
family relies on Pier 62’s skatepark.
Apple was also excited about the possibility
of an outdoor shade structure.
“New York is so hot in the summer,
too cold in the winter for skating,”
she said. “There is no break from the
PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY
Pier 97 has been rebuilt as a concrete slab, but it needs to be fitted out with recreational park features.
The Nov. 8 meeting had a “rich mixing
of ideas,” said Marty de Kadt, the
C.B. 4 Parks Committee co-chairperson.
“Now it’s back to the design people
to sift it.”
C.B. 4 member Tina DiFeliciantonio
pushed the Trust to detail any restrictions,
such as fi nancially, that might affect
the renovation, so that the public
could have a sense of what is realistically
“I’ve been a fi lmmaker for 35 years
and creative ideas come easily,” DiFeliciantonio
said. “As a producer, I can’t
waste time, energy and other resources
thinking about ideas I can’t put on the
She urged the Trust to do the same,
though added, “I’ll call them ‘boundaries,’
rather than ‘limitations.’ ”
Trust representatives noted that designs
must abide by rules regarding
open views to the water down the 57th
St. corridor, structures on the pier itself,
and adding new structures in the
water — the latter which is not allowed.
But at least no major structural renovations
will be necessary on the basic
structure of the pier, which has already
been rebuilt. Quinn said the pier is in
The public can send comments to the
Hudson River Park Trust’s design partner
!melk at firstname.lastname@example.org
or attend a design workshop on Dec. 4.
Check the Community Board 4 Web
site for meeting time and location.
PHOTO BY SYDNEY PEREIRA
A skatepark at Pier 97 would be the apple of the Apples’ eyes.
A historic photo of Pier 97 during its working-waterfront heyday when
it was used by the Swedish American Line.
30 November 15, 2018 TVG Schneps Community News Group