Governor Andrew M. Cuomo June 9th announced the grand opening of Pier 76, a new recreational and cultural space on Manhattan’s western Hudson River shoreline, achieving the long-awaited inclusion of the former New York City Police Department impound parking facility into Hudson River Park. The project was completed in only 81 days, or less than three months. The Governor also announced that Pier 76 will be one of the sites hosting outdoor screenings for this year’s reimagined Tribeca Film Festival.
“As New Yorkers continue to make incredible strides in defeating COVID, we must focus on rebuilding and revitalizing our state for a post-pandemic future and nothing is more emblematic of this historic effort than Pier 76,” Governor Cuomo said. “For years, Pier 76 was an eyesore that blighted the west side. However, thanks to the hard work of so many New Yorkers, this gorgeous new park will provide residents and visitors with incomparable access to outdoor recreational opportunities and cultural attractions like the Tribeca Film Festival for years to come.”
In January, New York State took possession of Pier 76, located at West 37th Street and 12th Avenue, from New York City, which had used the 5.6-acre site and structure as a police department impound lot facility. The State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation dismantled the 245,000 square-foot impound facility at the Pier in early spring and created interim public recreation space to include a walking area and outdoor flexible space, as well as benches for people to relax and enjoy the waterfront views. The impound facility’s steel support structure was temporarily left intact to create a unique setting and partial shade. The $31 million project included environmental abatement, repaving, and installation of railings and lighting. Nineteen interpretive panels relay the history of the area, including the indigenous Lenape of Mannahatta and the evolution of the shipping industry.
The Pier also features a propeller from the S.S. United States passenger liner, famous as the record holder for the fastest passenger ship to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Nearly 20 feet in diameter, the propeller weighs 73,000 pounds. After completing 400 transatlantic voyages, the United States was retired from active service in 1969 due to the advent of affordable jet passenger service to cities across Europe.
New York State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “It’s truly exciting to provide access to this unique open space for visitors and residents of Chelsea, Clinton and Midtown communities, who’ve waited years for it to become reality. The last year has underscored how much parks mean to our communities, and Pier 76, with its astonishing urban and waterfront views, is quality open space like no other.”