As Spring approaches, perhaps in the spirit of rejuvenation, the New York City Council has unanimously approved plans to revitalize Manhattan’s Pier 57, the historic pier located at 15th Street and the Hudson River. In 2009 architecture firm Young Woo & Associates set in motion a plan to transform the Pier into a multi-use cultural, retail, and restaurant hub, and, with the City Council’s approval in hand, the developers can finally begin the long-awaited redevelopment of the pier.
Pier 57 was built in 1952 by Emil Praeger. At the time of construction the engineer received great acclaim for his pioneering design—the Pier floats on three buoyant hollow concrete boxes that were flooded down the river. The new plan to restore the historic landmark conserves the original framing while renovating the 375,000 square feet of interior and rooftop space.
While Young Woo & Associates would not release new renderings of the updated design, previous renderings hint at what may be in store. The plan’s most enticing design feature involves the repurposing of sixty 160-square-foot “Incuboxes,” or shipping containers, which will be leased to artisans and merchants for $3,000 a month and used for retail and restaurant space. Additionally, the new plans call for adding an amphitheater and a marketplace featuring recycled airplane fuselages that will serve as food kiosks and performance spaces. A public green rooftop, “Sky Park,” will offer waterfront views of the river and New Jersey and will be used to host exhibitions and performances, as well a serve as the Tribeca Film Festivals permanent outdoor venue.
Construction of the new and improved Pier 57 is expected to begin in October, with completion targeted for 2015. Hudson River Park Trust Chairperson Diana Taylor said in a statement, “I am so pleased that this project which is so vital to the Park can now go forward. This new Pier will include sorely needed open spaces for Park visitors and will result in much needed revenue to help operate and maintain the Park to the high standards we have come to expect.”