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The Making of a Public Pier

In 2006, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, through Community Development Block Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, provided $72.6 million towards the build-out of the Tribeca section of the Park. Additional federal funding (obtained by Congressman Jerrold Nadler), as well as allocations from the City and State, enabled the Trust to complete Pier 25, upland park areas to the north and south and a boathouse and restaurant concession building at the foot of Pier 26. However, the majority of Pier 26 remained incomplete.

During the last few years, CITI contributed $10 million towards the building of Pier 26, in celebration of establishing their new headquarters in Tribeca. The City of New York matched CITI’s $10 million and the State and City helped the Trust secure an additional $15.2 million commitment from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation towards the completion of Pier 26.  The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of State have also provided important grants for this project.

Once funding was secured, the Trust hired a landscape architecture team led by OLIN, and together with OLIN, conducted meetings with the local community to discuss desired programming features.  The resulting design is widely supported, providing a blend of environmental features and an active sports field area that will help support the explosive growth in the number of children in Lower Manhattan.

Pier 26 will feature numerous educational and environmental components, including an “ecological get down” called the Tide Deck at the western end of the pier. Measuring approximately 15,000 square feet, this new pile-supported deck has been planted with native shrubs, trees and grasses that are intended to mimic the type of wetland that would have once existed along the Hudson River’s shoreline. Boulders positioned around the perimeter provide protection from wakes and waves. An ADA-accessible walkway with handrails will allow Trust staff to provide controlled access to organized groups including school children during suitable tide conditions for educational purposes. A new walkway at the pier deck level will allow the general public to walk over this feature during regular Park hours and view this special ecological feature.

Construction of the Tide Deck and other portions of the pier began in 2018. The pier’s first trees were planted in late 2019, and the construction team is now installing such features as the walking decks, built-in wooden seating and supports for the active sports area.