“A full build out of Pier 42 is critical to the continued revitalization of Lower Manhattan, providing more open space to the Lower East Side and Chinatown, and expanding our Harbor Park — a central park for the center of our city.” – State Senator Daniel Squadron
In 2012, Super Storm Sandy had a devastating impact on many waterfront communities including the Lower East Side, causing flood damages that continue to impact area residents and businesses. As a result, numerous planning initiatives at the federal, state and local levels were initiated and remain underway to help create a more resilient waterfront. The Mayor’s Office of Recovery & Resiliency is currently facilitating coordination between these multiple plans, including Pier 42’s redevelopment.
Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects worked closely with the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks) to design the future park on Pier 42, with an emphasis on providing passive recreation space, soft barriers to storm surges, marine habitat, and ecological education opportunities. A masterplan was approved by a Community Board 3 sub-committee and the Public Design Commission in January 2014, and Phase 1 of construction began in Fall 2017. Costing just over $10M, Phase 1 entails the following:
- Dismantling most of the warehouse structure, which was originally constructed in 1964. Its skeleton will remain.
- Removal of toxic soil.
- Remove asbestos and lead paint.
- Planting trees and vegetation.
- Grinding the current asphalt bed into fill for a knoll on the north end. It’s seven feet above the 100 year flood line with views of the Brooklyn Bridge.
- Repair bulkhead stone.
- Provide interim park lighting.
This will create a large passive recreation lawn that can be used by community members while the city continues to fundraise. NYC Parks is continuing to work with elected officials, the community board and community based organizations to fundraise the remaining $84M needed to complete this park.
Images courtesy of Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects