Volume 21, Number 12 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | August 1 - 7, 2008
Pier 40 back in the day
A front-page article in The Villager’s July 31, 1958, issue, “Officials Hold Old Style Pier Pour,” reported on the start of Pier 40’s construction at the foot of W. Houston St. “Emerging from the mist over the North River, like Caesar approaching Rome, a legion of city dignitaries aboard the tugboat Cynthia Moran pulled into the south side of the old Pier 38 at the foot of King St. yesterday,” read the article’s lede. “Debarking were more than 100 businessmen, labor leaders and city officials, including City Council President Abe Stark, representing the Mayor; Borough President Hulan E. Jack; and Marine and Aviation Commissioner Vincent A. G. O’Connor. The occasion,” the article continued, “was a gala, old style ceremony marking the first concrete pour in the construction of New Pier 40, the $18.5 million ship terminal the Department of Marine and Aviation is building for the Holland-America Line.”
Fifty years later, a proposed redevelopment of Pier 40 that would include three new public schools while preserving the pier’s existing sports fields has a price tag of $430 million. This year, The Villager, a sister publication of Downtown Express, is celebrating its 75th anniversary.