Volume 20, Number 45 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | November 3 - 9, 2010
Downtown Express photo by Aline Reynlds
Pier 25’s new asphalt concrete playing field is predicted to be popular among Downtown youth soccer and football leagues.
Pier 25 opens with significant facelift
BY Aline Reynolds
On the Westernmost stretch of North Moore Street and West Street lies a fun-filled oasis far from the hustle and bustle of Tribeca.
Pier 25, the newest section of Hudson River Park, will officially open to the public on Thursday, replacing a much smaller waterfront space that was demolished in 2005. The completion of the pier is the second of three phases of the Hudson River Park Trust’s overhaul of the West Side waterfront.
The new pier will have an 18-hole miniature golf course and snack bar, beach volleyball courts, a children’s playground, a multi-purpose artificial turf lawn and lounge-chair seating.
“It’s nice to see everything coming together,” said David Katz, vice president of marketing and events at the Hudson River Park Trust, which owns and operates Pier 25.
The pier also has three sand volleyball courts – two of them reserved for sports teams and one meant for a drop-in game. Then there’s the host of sky-blue lounge chairs. Some of them line the pier’s front deck, which offers dramatic views of the Hudson River and the Statue of Liberty.
The concrete asphalt playing field is intended for Downtown Giants Youth Football and other local youth sports teams. A challenging miniature golf course located midway down the pier is set up for families seeking day or nighttime recreation. An indoor snack bar, located in front of the golf course, will open to pier visitors next spring. Dogs are allowed along the pier, but not on the athletic facilities.
The H.R.P.T. also set up a playground for youngsters that will feature a climbing wall, a sandbox, a water play area and a jungle gym.
“It’ll definitely be the best fun you can have in Hudson River Park,” said Connie Fishman, president and C.E.O. of the Hudson River Park Trust, noting that the beach volleyball courts are the only ones on the Hudson waterfront.
She and Katz have worked closely with Community Board 1 since 2000 to come up with the design plan for the $40 million pier, which was funded by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.
The north side of the pier has a berthing area for historic ships, while the south side of the pier holds a docking area for recreational boaters wishing to make day trips into Lower Manhattan, or simply take a ride around the harbor.
“It’s making use of the pier in the way it is intended,” Katz said, by getting it back to the pier’s original aquatic use with boats and vessels. Recreational boats, he noted, were banned from the immediate area after 9/11.
The upland area consists of a basketball court, and a skating area for beginner rollerbladers and skateboarders, and a pathway for bikers and pedestrians. The former pier had batting cages that the H.R.P.T. decided to do away with, since the amount it cost to maintain them exceeded the profits, according to Katz.
In the months following 9/11, the area was used as storage space for debris from Ground Zero. “We used to call it the Haul Road,” Katz said.
The park will have several access points along West Street. The walkway and lounge areas will close at 1 a.m.; the sports facilities will close around midnight.
Senator Daniel Squadron, Councilmember Margaret Chin and other local elected officials will gather with community members to celebrate the pier’s opening at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday at 3 p.m.