Award-Winning Restoration of an Engineering Marvel
Pier 57, originally constructed in 1952, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, in large part because of the innovative engineering techniques that keep it afloat (read more about this fascinating story in David Dunlap’s The New York Times piece). Just below the water, three large concrete caissons support the main structure in lieu of traditional piles. Furthermore, these underwater containers serve as unique basement spaces, unlike any other pier.
The Pier first opened in 1954 as the terminal for Grace Line, and then in 1969, it became the Hudson Pier Depot for the New York City Transit Authority, housing municipal buses. When the depot closed in 2003, Hudson River Park re-imagine this space as a mixed-use pier that could help support the Park financially while also increasing public amenities, including new open space.
Recently, Pier 57 received a 2022 New York State Preservation Award from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP), earning recognition as a unique example of preservation work for a structure that is iconic to the city’s history. Pier 57 also won a Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award, from The New York Landmarks Conservancy for the pier’s excellence in historic preservation.
Pier 57’s captivating past — and its exciting future — tell an important story about the legacy of innovation on our west side waterfront.
What is a Mixed-Use Pier?
Hudson River Park Trust, governed by the Hudson River Park Act, operates on the premise of financial self-sufficiency, meaning that it receives no public funding for its maintenance and operations. That self-sufficiency model is reliant on the few piers designated for limited commercial uses by the Hudson River Park Act. Rent generated from Pier 57 is an important part of how the Hudson River Park Trust cares for the overall Park’s maintenance and operations.
Under a lease with the Hudson River Park Trust, the development team led by RXR Youngwoo and Baupost, has invested approximately $410 million to restore the building and adapt it for new uses while retaining its historic features. The project hosts offices for Google, the project’s anchor tenant, as well as cultural, recreational and public market activities. The redevelopment plans were approved unanimously by Community Board 4, the Manhattan Borough President, the City Planning Commission and, ultimately, the New York City Council through New York City’s Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP) that culminated in April 2013.
The redevelopment process of the Pier has been sensitive to the historic nature of the structure every step of the way, with designs approved by the New York State Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service.
Visit here for information on the executed lease for Pier 57.