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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.

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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.

Future Planning for Pier 76

Since Pier 76 became part of Hudson River Park in 2021, the Trust has operated it as interim open space.  Eventually, as with other Hudson River Park piers, the pier will need to be fully reconstructed. Designated a “Park/Commercial” pier by the Hudson River Park Act, this space will eventually host both public parkland and a revenue generating use that will help support the care, maintenance and operations of the Park as a whole. Please check back for updates as the planning process continues.

Pier 76 Task Force

The Trust formed the Pier 76 Task Force to begin discussions with key stakeholders on the future redevelopment of Pier 76 and to collectively develop some actionable ideas that can advance the dual goals of creating significant new, high quality public open space and generating revenue to help support the overall care of Hudson River Park. The Task Force met 6 times between July and November 2023 to discuss open space and revenue generating opportunities at the pier, engineering and cost assumptions, and Hudson River Park’s long-term projected financial needs. The Task Force effort was facilitated by expert consultants from Field Operations and HR&A who helped the group explore these topics within both the context of the surrounding public realm and the current economic reality of New York State and New York City. Manhattan Community Board 4’s representatives were invited to present the Board’s Affordable Housing Plan and nearby uses and developments to provide neighborhood context to inform the discussions.

While the Trust did not ask Task members to vote or take other formal actions to conclude the Task Force process, Trust staff created and distributed three separate documents to synthesize and memorialize information discussed throughout the Task Force process.  Together, the documents are intended to support next steps related to advancing solutions for Pier 76, including broader public engagement and potentially future legislative solutions.  Task Force members had an opportunity to provide feedback on the documents and Trust staff has now incorporated such edits into the attached versions.

The three documents dated December 8, 2023 are:

  1. Summary of Need: Provides an overview of the current physical status of Pier 76 as well as background information that will inform the planning process.
  2. Statement of Principles for Future Planning at Pier 76: Represents an effort to compile key planning principles to inform future planning with an eye towards ensuring that multiple goals for the pier including limitations for future commercial uses.
  3. Use Matrix: Summarizes uses that were presented to and discussed with the Task Force, focusing on opportunities and constraints for both public open space and commercial uses for each. It was prepared with input from the two consultants that supported the Task Force effort:  Field Operations (which focused on landscape and open space considerations) and HR&A (which focused on economic considerations). The matrix does not reflect any designed solutions for Pier 76, and is not organized by priority or any other “ranking.”

The Task Force documents should not be seen as final plans or proposals, do not represent the views of any individual member of the Task Force, and have not been adopted by the Trust Board of Directors as policy. Future planning for Pier 76 will reflect the ongoing community discussions and engagement.