Bringing History to Life
Park Elements Provide Visitors with a Window to the Past
In addition to sponsoring many programs that educate everyday park goers and students about the role the Hudson River has played in New York's history, Hudson River Park's design includes interpretive elements that help bring history to life.
Located in the Clinton Cove section, Private Passage, a specially commissioned sculpture by artist Malcolm Cochran, is an interpretive recreation of a stateroom from the era of the grand passenger ships that berthed here during the early 20th Century. The recreation is housed in an enormous wine bottle, 30 feet long, resting on its side and outfitted with portholes and windows allowing visitors to view the interior.
At West 26th Street, Pier 66a, also known as the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Float Transfer Bridge, is an important working artifact that offers a unique view into the former working waterfront. The Float Bridge is an historic structure that once rose and fell with the tide. It was used to load and unload rail cars from barges for delivery to the B&O Freight Terminal located just inland on West 26th Street. The float bridge is a surviving reminder that the Park once hosted numerous structures built to transport everything from food items to cattle and sheep being sent to the local stockyards.
Located between Pier 45 and Pier 46, the Bow Notch is another vestige of the Hudson River's history as a working waterfront. During the nineteenth century, boats increased in size, to the point that the federal government had to intervene to prohibit interference in the shipping channel while they were docked at piers. Bow notches (indentations in the seawall) like the one between Piers 45 and 46 were areas where the shoreline was excavated inland to accommodate these longer vessels.