By George Capsis
Deborah Glick, who represents us in the State Assembly, is concerned about the environmental trauma that will be caused by driving 896 enormous reinforced concrete mushroom-shaped forms down to bed rock to support the 2.7 acres of undulating concrete that forms an island like “pier” designated by the Hudson River Park management as “Pier 55” or as it has become known “Diller Island” after its patron donor.
The outer mega-mushrooms will rise 75 feet above the Hudson’s surface and all 896 multi-ton mushroom forms will dive down another 100 feet or more—disturbing the nutrient rich riverbed to reach bedrock.
In addition, although never shown in the presentation renderings, the Diller sponsored organization plans to float a 4000 square foot barge to accommodate events that will draw larger rock concert crowds and the perpetual shadow of this barge (and the island as well) will kill underwater plants and algae—depriving the striped bass native to this locale sustenance.
Deborah Glick asks that we make our concerns know to The Army Corps of Engineers who have the responsibility to preserve and aid the life of our river. To give concerned citizens more time, she lobbied for and received an extension, allowing comments to be submitted until November 19th.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: At the recent Pier 55 meeting, retired nurse Mel Stevens made a plea to leave the newly restored river alone and others suggested that concerts and theatrical events planned by the Diller organization could be moved to Pier 40 which will be restored thanks to the recent $100 million dollar purchase of its air rights. The 15-acre Pier 40 location can accommodate outdoor and indoor performances, greatly extending the events season.
With the infusion of $100 million from the sale of the pier’s air rights, now is the time to ask our representatives to restore Pier 40 not only to park cars but also to use the $100 million Diller gift to build a magnificent year round performance space.