Hudson River Park
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Hudson River Park is a waterside park on the Hudson River that extends from 59th Street south to Battery Park in the New York City borough of Manhattan. Bicycle and pedestrian paths, including the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway, span the park north to south, opening up the waterfront for recreational use. The park includes tennis and soccer fields, batting cages, children's playground, dog run, and many other features. The parkland also incorporates several rebuilt North River piers along its length, formerly used for shipping.
Hudson River Park connects many other recreational sites and landmarks including Battery Park at its south end; Battery Park City; the World Trade Center and surroundings; the World Financial Center and Winter Garden; Chelsea Piers; piers 40, 57, 63 (site of historic ships Lightship Frying Pan and Fireboat John J. Harney), and 66; and Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum; at its north end it becomes Riverside Park. It runs through the Manhattan neighborhoods of Lower Manhattan, Battery Park City, TriBeCa, Greenwich Village, Gansevoort Market (The Meatpacking District), Chelsea, Midtown West, and Hell's Kitchen (Clinton).
It is a joint New York State and New York City collaboration and is a 550-acre (2.2 km2) park, the biggest in Manhattan after Central Park. The park arose as part of the West Side Highway replacement project in the wake of the abandoned Westway plan.
Recreational facilities of many kinds are located throughout Hudson River Park, catering to organized and individual sports, leisure activities, and activities for children. A defining physical feature of Hudson River Park is the 5.0-mile bike and running path that runs the park’s length, connecting northward to Riverside Park South at West 59th Street and southward to Battery Park.
Scattered throughout the park are numerous fields and courts, with Chelsea Waterside Park (at West 23rd Street and 11th Avenue) being one center of sports activity. The park contains a sports field, basketball court, a playground with water features during the summer months, and a dog run named “Best of New York” by New York Magazine in May 2005.
Pier 84 at West 44th Street is also packed with activities. Free fishing with Big City Fishing is available on the pier as well as rowing, boat building, and other maritime related activities, including a water taxi stop. Also on the pier are a dog run and playground, and the casual restaurant PD O’Hurleys.
Other sporting facilities include basketball courts at Canal Street and another at Harrison Street, Tennis courts south of Pier 40 between Houston and Canal Streets, and a temporary skate park at West 30th Street. The Trapeze School of New York operates on the roof of Pier 40.
The largest sporting complex in Hudson River Park is the Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex, which holds a variety of athletic spaces. Chelsea Piers sports a batting cage, bowling lanes, playing fields, a driving range, an ice skating rink, rock climbing facilities, and gymnastics space, among other exercise and fitness related spaces. Along with these indoor recreational facilities, Chelsea Piers offers boating activities and several restaurants on premises.
In keeping with the maritime heritage of the park, Hudson River Park has opportunities for outrigger canoeing on Pier 66 at West 26th Street, rowing and sailing on Piers 40 and 66, and free kayaking on Piers 96, 66, and 40.
The free kayaking attraction, run by NYC-based nonprofit organizations and volunteers, allows visitors to ride along the Hudson River while appreciating the view of downtown Manhattan. Open five days a week, including Saturdays and Sunday, free kayaking serves as an affordable activity for tourists and resident New Yorkers alike. After signing a waiver, and choosing a life vest, one can step in a kayak and enjoy a relaxing ride with friends family, or even alone.
Abundant open grassy areas in the park permit non-athletic leisure activity. Sun tanning is a popular pastime in many areas. Clinton Cove (W. 55th St.), Pier 84 (W. 44th St.), 14th Street Park, and Pier 45 all present wide unobstructed green spaces for sunbathing, and are popular locations.
Per 57, at 15th Street and 11th Avenue, formerly served as a terminal for shipping and storage of cargo for the Grace Line. Between 1969 and 2003, Pier 57 housed the Hudson Pier Depot for the New York City Transit Authority. Since then, it was neglected, but plans beginning in 2009 call for an improved pier design for commercial use, dubbed the SuperPier. The developer's current estimates project a 2015 re-opening for the site.
Pier 63 was originally located near 23rd Street, adjacent to Chelsea Piers and Hudson River Park. It had been purchased from a used car salesman in Staten Island by John Krevey in October 1996 and delivered by a tugboat. It formerly carried railroad boxcars across the Hudson River before the advent of containerized freight or tunnels beneath the river. The land side of Pier 63 was formerly used as a freight transfer station for the Baltimore and Ohio railroad where freight was moved from the boxcars on the barges to local conveyance.
Pier 66 is located at 26th Street and is used for sports.
Pier 84 is on 12th Avenue and 44th Street. It is the largest public pier in the Hudson River Park. From 1981 until 1988, it served as a concert venue from the former Schaefer Music Festival. Headline acts such as The Clash, Frank Zappa, King Crimson, and Hot Tuna performed on the pier.
Parts of the Hudson River Park remained without power in the months after Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. As a result, the Hudson River Park temporarily limited hours after nightfall in the park. Before Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, the park's paths alongside the river remained open until 1am ET. After Hurricane Sandy, the park worked to return to normal operating hours once they restored power to affected areas.
- "Once-Neglected Pier 57 Prepares for Its SuperPier Moment". Curbed. 2014-01-17. Retrieved 2014-08-04.
- "Pier's Developer Looks for a Creative Tenant Mix". The New York Times. 2013-09-13. Retrieved 2014-08-04.
- "Lights on at Pier 40". Hudson River Park. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
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