Volume 16 • Issue 35 | January 30 - February 05, 2004

C.B. 1 committee backs Pier 40 ballfield plan

By Albert Amateau

Under the Hudson River Park Trust’s plan for Pier 40, the street-level truck parking area, top, would be converted into an artificial turf field by September. The existing field on the roof would remain.

The waterfront committee of Community Board 1 on Jan. 28 enthusiastically supported the Hudson River Park Trust plan for in interim ball field in the courtyard of Pier 40.

The plan, outlined last week at a public meeting, calls for 162,000 sq. ft. of artificial turf field located in what the Trust calls the “donut” of the pier. The interim plan includes a promenade 20 ft. wide on the south side of the roof of the pier.

The $4.4 million fields are expected to be completed in September.

Also at the Jan. 28 waterfront meeting, Jonathan Conant, director of the Trapeze School of New York, presented a preliminary plan for a tent that would shade the trapeze in Hudson River Park at Desbrosses St. from direct sun during the hottest days of summer and allow it to be used in rainy weather and during the winter.

Conant, however, acknowledged that neighborhood and park advocates are opposed to anything that would block view corridors to the river. But he told Linda Roche, who chaired the C.B. 1 meeting, that he hopes to maintain the trapeze school in the park even without the tent. The trapeze school completed its second season in the park in October.

Roche said she enjoyed a recent foray on the trapeze, but she said weather protective covering could cause problems by blocking river views.

The waterfront committee unanimously approved the interim plan for Pier 40. Connie Fishman, Hudson River Park Trust president, said the large courtyard field would include dugouts with drinking fountains and bleacher seats in addition to a new bathroom. When spectators are expected, the Trust would bring in Portosan toilets, Fishman added.

The plan, however, has no provision for a new bathroom on the roof of the pier. An existing bathroom on the second floor would serve the new rooftop promenade, she said.

In response to the request at the Jan. 21 Community Board 2 public hearing for more un-programmed space, Fishman said the existing soccer field on the roof could be opened for passive use when not booked by soccer leagues. The Trust is also seeking ways to expand the proposed promenade. “The issue is really cars,” she said, referring to the mandate to continue private auto parking on the pier.



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