Revamping the East River Waterfront: A Multi-Faceted Plan

LES Kite Festival Tomorrow at Pier 42

If you haven’t gotten a chance to check out the temporary park at Pier 42, this weekend provides a good opportunity.  The Lower East Side Kite Festival will be held in the community space tomorrow.

GOLES Summerfest at Pier 42 This Afternoon

This afternoon at Pier 42, at the temporary park near Montgomery Street, Good Old Lower East Side presents Summerfest 2013.

“City That Drinks the Mountain Sky” Comes to Pier 42 Thursday

On Thursday, Pier 42 will be the setting for a theatrical performance, City That Drinks The Mountain Sky, an allegory that traces the epic story of New York City’s water supply.

“Paths to Pier 42″ Project Rehabilitates Waterfront With Art, Events

Giacinto Frisillo, a contributor at The Lo-Down, has been volunteering with the Hester Street Collaborative as part of their Paths to Pier 42 project on the East River waterfront between Montgomery and Cherry streets. She reports on the progress toward creating public art and events, and how to get involved.

Pier 42 Park Plans Unveiled

pier 42 park partial deck 2

One of two master plans for a new park at Pier 42.

Last night, members of Community Board 3 and local residents got their first look at master plan proposals for a large new park in the works at Pier 42.  Two options outlined by Signe Nielsen of Mathews Nielsen, an architectural firm hired by the city, would transform the eight acre parcel into a multi-use expanse featuring grassy lounging areas, recreational sports facilities, a mini-eco-park and kids’ play areas.

The city intends to build the new green space in phases.  The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. has provided $16 million in funding out of $60 million the entire project is expected to cost.  Last night, Nielsen emphasized that the dock and pilings on which a large abandoned shed sits is in “very poor condition” and will need to be completely rebuilt.  She described two proposals — one in which the entire deck is reconstructed — and another in which it’s only partially rebuilt.

Pier 42 is Opened For Partial Public Use; Summer Art Projects Unveiled

Anne Frederick of Hester Street Collaborative was one of several speakers at a community day May 4, 2013 at Pier 42.

Anne Frederick of Hester Street Collaborative was one of several speakers at a community day May 4, 2013 at Pier 42.

It will be years before the dream of building a large new park at Pier 42, near Gouverneur Street, is realized.  But this past weekend, community activists, non-profit organizations and local politicians took an important symbolic step toward claiming the parcel along the East River for public use.  A community day was held Saturday on Pier 42, the kickoff to a summer-long effort to engage residents in the future of the pier.

A year-and-a-half ago, the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. allocated $16 million for the first phase of the project.  A design firm, Mathews Nielsen, will present preliminary master plans to Community Board 3 later this week, following a series of community vision sessions during the past several months.  On Saturday, Sen. Squadron, who helped secure the funding along with U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, and representatives from non-profit organizations, who have led a long campaign for public access on the waterfront, celebrated the partial opening on Pier 42.

Pier 42 Community Day To be Held Saturday

pier42_map

This coming weekend, local organizations are inviting Lower East Side residents to a section of Pier 42, just north of Montgomery Street, for a community day. As you may have heard, the Parks Department is moving ahead with plans to turn the old pier into a green space, an extension of East River Park.  This summer there will be a series of art, educational and design installations at the pier, beginning with the event on Saturday.

City Updates Pier 42 Park Park Plan, Seeks More Community Feedback

Pier 42, at the end of Montgomery Street.

As you may know, the city is slowly moving toward building a new park at Pier 42, the unsightly area just below newly refurbished East River Park. This week, the Parks Department conducted a “listening session” on the Lower East Side to hear what residents and open space advocacy groups would like to see happen on the former “banana pier” at Montgomery Street.

Parks official Lawrence Mauro, appearing before Community Board 3′s parks committee, said the goal is to develop a master plan by next fall.  Mauro indicated the city has about $13 million to work with, which he said is a third or a fourth of what will be required for the whole project.  Mauro said it’s too early to tell how much can be done with the initial round of funding.

Small But Engaged Contingent Helps Plan Future Pier 42 Park

Last night’s planning session at the Hamilton Fish Recreation Center.

After years of inaction, the city has refocused its energies on the greening of Pier 42, just below East River Park. Thanks to $18 million in new funding, the Parks Department and Community Board 3 have begun to engage the public to create a new vision for the eight acre gap in the East River greenway.  This past weekend, residents toured the abandoned shed that consumes much of the pier.  And last night, a small group gathered at the Hamilton Fish Recreation Center to begin planning the future park.

During a workshop led by architectural firm Mathews Nielsen, about 35 people (some of whom were Parks Department staffers) broke into four groups to talk about what they’d like to see (and not see) in the large space, located just above Montgomery Street.  A principal in the company, Signe Nielsen, offered a brief history of Pier 42 and outlined the process that will lead to a master plan being developed by March of next year and a “Phase 1 Plan” by May.

Community Tours Pier 42; Park Planning Begins This Week

Inside Pier 42.

Standing at the entrance of Pier 42 on Sunday, State Senator Daniel Squadron told local residents and activists, revitalization of the dilapidated space is “no longer just an idea. It’s becoming a reality.”  During the next hour or so, he and Parks Department officials led a rare tour of the old “banana boat pier,” which is destined toone day become a new park and recreational area.

Last year at about this time, Squadron and U.S Senator Chuck Schumer announced they’d persuaded the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. to devote $16 million to the first phase of the large redevelopment project.  Now the Parks Department has brought on a design firm, Mathews Nielsen, to oversee the transformation of one of the last green links in Manhattan’s riverfront.  

Two Opportunities to Participate in Pier 42 Park Planning

Pier 42 on the East River Waterfront.

In the next several days, there will be a couple of opportunities to become engaged in the future of Pier 42.  Back in November of 2011, the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. set aside $16 million for the future development of the pier as a park. Coming up on Sunday, the Parks Department and State Sen. Daniel Squadron (who helped secure the government funding) will lead community members on a tour of the pier, which includes an abandoned shed and a parking lot.

First Meeting to Plan for Pier 42 Park Marked by Both Optimism and Skepticism

Pier 42, at the end of Montgomery Street, is ready for its makeover.

Members of the community who turned out last night to hear about the future of Pier 42, on the East River Waterfront, seemed generally hopeful but more than a little wary.  It was the first meeting with Parks Department officials, who will be overseeing the refurbishment of the long neglected public space.  While there was genuine excitement that years of vigorous advocacy had finally paid off, longtime residents made it clear they have doubts about the city’s ability to get the job done.

At the urging of U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer and State Senator Daniel Squadron, the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. recently awarded nearly $16 million to demolish a large abandoned shed on Pier 42 and to complete a planning and design process for a new park.  The project was first envisioned many years ago, but was unfunded. The pier has been used for parking and storage during the last couple of years.

Community Planning For Revitalized Pier 42 Begins Tonight

Pier 42 on the East River Waterfront.

Tonight the Parks Department and Community Board 3 will be looking for public input about a new park they plan to build on Pier 42, at the end of Montgomery Street.  It’s always been the plan to tear down the abandoned shed, pictured above, and turn the large space adjacent to the East River Promenade into a public recreation area.  Several weeks ago the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. allocated $14 million for the first phase of the project.

This evening, State Senator Daniel Squadron, who along with U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, pushed for the LMDC funding, will help set up the discussion. There will then be a presentation from city officials, which will include a timetable for demolition and construction as well as a refresher on previous plans the community developed for Pier 42 (a decade ago an urban beach and boat launch was envisioned).

Officials emphasize that tonight’s discussion will begin an entirely new community visioning process.  While it will take several years to plan and build the park,  demolition of the shed could happen later this year.  Neighborhood non-profits, including Hester Street Collaborative, have talked about holding community events at Pier 42, as a way of “reclaiming” the space for public use.

Tonight’s meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the BRC Senior Center, 30 Delancey Street.

 

Funding Approved for Pier 42 and East River Waterfront

A rendering of one proposal for Pier 42 along the East River.

Two major projects along the East River waterfront moved one step closer to reality this morning, when the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation voted officially to fund them.

As we’ve been expecting, the redevelopment of Pier 42 was allotted $14 million, while another $1.9 million was tagged for the completion of the East River Waterfront Park.

Both projects have been championed  by state Sen. Daniel Squadron and U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, who announced last fall that they had secured a promise of the funding. Today’s vote made it official and set the stage for the planning process to formally begin; a public meeting is scheduled for next month.

“This funding will be a step toward the world-class waterfront and open space we’ve long fought for, while continuing the revitalization of Lower Manhattan,” Squadron said in a prepared statement after the vote. “By connecting Lower Manhattan’s waterfront parks, it will create a ‘continuous green ribbon’ and move us a big step closer to a Harbor Park – a central park for the center of our city.”