On June 9, 2021, Hudson River Park welcomed the incorporation of Pier 76 into its boundaries as a new place for recreation along the Hudson River waterfront. Led by Governor Cuomo and constructed by the New York State Parks Department, the project involved the removal of a former tow pound building and numerous improvements to the 245,000-square foot pier.
Remarkably, the pier was converted from a tow pound to public open space in only 81 days. Its large surface now includes outdoor flexible space, benches for people to relax and enjoy the waterfront views, and numerous interpretive plaques relaying the history of the area.
The pier also features a propeller from the S.S. United States passenger liner, famous as the record holder for the fastest passenger ship to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Nearly 20 feet in diameter, the propeller weighs 73,000 pounds. After completing 400 transatlantic voyages, the United States was retired from active service in 1969 due to the advent of affordable jet passenger service to cities across Europe.
Looking ahead, Pier 76 will need to be reconstructed in its entirety to support both permanent new landscaped public park space and for permissible commercial uses that help support the overall Park’s care and operations. In the meantime, we know that it will serve the open space needs of nearby residents and visitors alike. Hudson River Park has a long history of hosting interim public recreation including creative guest events, and was delighted to host the Tribeca Film Festival’s 2021 series as part of the pier’s inauguration.
You can view Governor Cuomo’s press release celebrating the opening of Pier 76 here.