Throughout most of the Park, piers were designed to meet the elevation of the historic bulkhead. The design for Pier steps down from this bulkhead, putting park users in close proximity to the water. We call this a “get down.” With its ample seating and arty shade structure, it’s a perfect spot for relaxing or fishing.
The depth and sturdiness of the shoreline is taken for granted now, but in 1873, the waterfront was so dilapidated and unnavigable as to “awake the amazement and indeed scorn of the foreigner,” The New York Times said. “What is wanted is a broad thoroughfare clear round the City, stone-faced, with all necessary piers, solid and imperishable.”
The Hudson River bulkhead, was built under an improvement plan proposed in 1870 by Gen. George B. McClellan, the chief engineer of the city’s Department of Docks, who was far better known as a Union leader during the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln’s Democratic challenger for the presidency in 1864. In 1874, the first section of the masonry bulkhead was constructed at Christopher Street. Today, the entire length the of Hudson River Park bulkhead is a nationally recognized and registered historic resource.
Learn about NYC’s Bulkhead Landmark here.