The BroadsheetDAILY ~ 10/6/20 ~ Tribeca’s Pier 26 Opens with Amenities Galore –

Posted By on October 7, 2020

Lower Manhattans Local News

Quay to Success

Pier 26 Opens with Amenities Galore

The centerpiece of the new Pier 26 is the Tide Deckacultivated rocky salt marsh beneath an elevated, cantilevered walkway

The tally of great public spaces in Lower Manhattan has increased by one. Last Wednesday, the Hudson River Park Trust officially opened Pier 26 in Tribeca (near Hubert Street), the product of a decade-plus of planning and construction, and a $37-million budget.

The result is 2.5 acres of woodland forest, coastal grassland, maritime scrub, and a rocky tidal zoneall culminating in a breathtaking view of the Hudson River. Additionally included in the design are a multi-use recreation field and a spacious sunning lawn, as well as boardwalks and seating areas.

Pier 26 is a celebration of the Hudson River coastline, reflects Madelyn Wils, president of the Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT), the public service organization responsible for designing, building, operating and maintaining the park that stretches four miles along the waterfront of Manhattans west side. It will really show people the kinds of life that are in the Hudson River and the life that is actually now becoming more enhanced as the River becomes cleaner.

Above: The new dock also features an athletic field,spacious lawns, boardwalks and seating areas. Below: Two sheds (complete with swings) are designed to frame the vista, while also providing a sheltered space for quiet contemplation.

Holly Leicht, chair of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), which funded part of the project, says that Pier 26, was always in the master plan as an ecological pier. But what that could mean was anyones guess. So much creativity has been put in to making each part of this park with magic at every step. This really is the heart of the west side right now.

Lucinda Sanders, the chief executive officer of landscape architecture firm Olin (which created the design for Pier 26), says, we wanted to create a very curated journey through this landscape. There is about a 12-foot grade change, so that you are not just walking in a woodland, but youre moving up into the canopy of the trees. She adds, there are two sheds designed to frame vistas, but theyre also these places where you can just go in and sit and mediate on a swing and be kind of quiet.

Ms. Been observes, its amazing that the HRPT was able to move forward with these projects during the pandemic, but its the affirmation that New York is moving forward, they were doubling down on making New York City even better. She predicts that Pier 26, is going to get people out to where they really feel like theyre connecting with the River in a way that I dont think any other place in the Park does, or really any other place in the City does.

Pier 26 has been closed to the public for more than a decade. In the early 1900s, the Old Dominion Steamship Company took passengers and freight from what is now called Tribeca to Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia. (The fare was $8.00, and the trip took 24 hours.) By the early 2000s, however, the dock had been abandoned for decades, and its rotting structure was beginning to fall into the Hudson.

The curated habitat walk that spans the docks 700-foot length takes visitors through five distinct ecological zones, culminating with a stunning view of the Hudson River.

Beginning in 2008, the wharf was demolished and rebuilt, creating a blank slate for which it was possible to begin making plans. We went to the community to find out what they wanted this park to have, Ms. Wils recalls.

Priorities voiced at a succession of meetings with Community Board 1 (CB1) included the opportunity to get close to the water, as well as strong educational and ecological components. This led to the creation of the Tide Deca cultivated rocky salt marsh beneath an elevated, cantilevered walkway, where tours escorted by HRPT staff will be able to descend to the waters edgeas well as hundreds of native plantings.

These are all plants that you would have seen 400 years ago if you were standing on the Hudson River coastline, Ms. Wils says. And the Tide Deck is our outdoor classroom. It really is the exclamation point on our mission to teach people about the River and about the estuary.

The dialog with the community also led to some details in the original vision for Pier 26 being vetoed. For example, a plan to install wind turbines on the dock to meet all (or most) of the facilitys need for electrical power was met with resistance by CB1 members, who raisedconcerns about noise and danger to birds from this element of the design, which was dropped.

Resiliency was another focus of community concerns, which led to a uniquely sustainable design. As Paul Goldstein, chair of CB1s Waterfront Committee noted in 2019, it is built to flood. HRPT is using materials that they believe, if the pier is overwhelmed by water, can be easily restored.

After years of discussion and consultation, a final design was unveiled in December, 2016. Around this time, HRPT also announced that it had secured $30 million in funding, thanks to three appropriations (of $10 million each), from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the de Blasio Administration, and Citigroup, which occupies an office tower directly adjacent to Pier 26. The remaining budget came from grants from Albany and Washington.

While Pier 26 is open, it is not quite finished. Still under construction is a childrens playground designed to spark an interest in science among young minds. And funds are still being raised to build a new home for Estuarium a combination laboratory, public exhibit and learning space designed to offer hands-on programs in the urban ecology of New York Harbor and the larger Hudson River ecosystem that was created by the River Project, in Tribeca, in the 1990s. For years, the River Project was housed on Pier 26, but the organization relocated to temporary quarters at Pier 40 when the HRPT began to redevelop the structure in 2008.

Matthew Fenton

Eyes to the Sky

October 6 18, 2020

Planet Mars Will Surprise You

Mars reaches opposition, as in this artists illustration, when it is opposite from the sun in Earths sky.(Image credit: NASA)

A rusty-gold star-like celestial body shines suspended above the eastern skyline at nightfall. It is heavens celebrity of the month. Even though I knew that planet Mars is predicted to be at that location after sunset, a rush of surprise overcame me when, approaching a clear view to the east, the planets brilliant light pierced the darkness. Mars is brightest for the year in Earths skies. Today, the 6th, it will orbit closest to our planet since 2018 and arrive at opposition on the 13th.

According to Simulation Curriculums Starry Night Skyguide software, the red planets magnitude ranges from -2.56 tonight to a maximum of -2.62 on the 12th. By the 18th, Mars magnitude drops to -2.52 and continues to decrease, but is still quite bright until the end of October. Note that the red planets maximum magnitude possible seen from Earth is -2.92.

During the Mars opposition in 2003, the Red Planet was only 34.6 million miles from Earth. This was the closest the two planets had come to each other in almost 60,000 years, and this record wont be broken until Aug. 28, 2287, according to NASA. This year, Mars will be closest to Earth, at 38,568,243 miles distant, at 10:19 a.m. on the 6th. The planets furthest distance is 250 million miles.

Follow Mars from sunset to sunrise. Take a first look before moonrise. The waning gibbous moon rises in the east-northeast at 8:38pm on the 5th and half-hour to an hour later all this week The rusty-gold orb reaches rather high in the sky at midnight and then drops to set in the west as the sun rises in the east.

Sunset is at 6:30 Eastern Daylight Time today and about two minute earlier everyday through the 18th. Mars rises at about 7 oclock today and several minutes earlier every evening.


Judy Isacoff

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As of Thursday, the Downtown Connection shuttle bus has a new look, a new fleet, and new onboard systems to safeguard against the spread of communicable airborne diseases.

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Gimme Shelter

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Lower Manhattan residents and community leaders are scrambling to formulate a response to the announcement, circulated last Friday evening, that the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to use a hotel in the Financial District as a homeless shelter.


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Playing Hooky for Health

More Than Half of All Students at Downtown Schools Opt for Remote Learning

As children are slated to return to public elementary schools today (along with public middle and high schools on Thursday), slightly more than half of all students in nine Lower Manhattan public schools plan to stay home and focus on remote learning, according to statistics from a State Department of Health (DOH) website.

The DOHs School COVID-19 Report Card site contains preliminary data about how many students are expected to return to each school throughout the State, relative to the overall size of every schools student body.

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The BroadsheetDAILY ~ 10/6/20 ~ Tribeca's Pier 26 Opens with Amenities Galore -

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