Historically, the Hudson River waterfront was a place for commerce. Over time, ever larger ships needed deeper channels and longer piers, and the industry once located along the Manhattan shoreline shifted to other locations within New York’s Harbor. Containerization and the use of airplanes for transport accelerated the Manhattan piers’ decline. By the time the Park was being planned in the 1990s, much of the maritime waterfront had been abandoned.

Today, most of the Park’s piers are devoted either to public recreation, ecology, recreational boating, or permissible commercial uses that generate income for Park care and operations. A few piers still perform other important functions.

Pier 53 is home to the Fire Department of New York’s Marine Company 1.

Pier 98 is a Con Edison fuel transfer facility.

Pier 99 is operated by the NYC Department of Sanitation as a Marine Transfer Station for recyclables.

Excluded from the Park’s boundaries are also several additional piers:

Pier 78 is the only privately-owned pier on the waterfront.

Piers 88, 90, 92 and 94 are operated by New York City as the Passenger Ship Terminal and for trade, fashion and art shows.