For a year, foes of the 2.7-acre island/park being built at West 16th Street, largely with money from entertainment mogul Barry Diller, have tried to block the project in court. For a brief period in August, the New York State Appellate Division issued a stay against the commencement of construction. That stay was lifted later in August, and during September and October, 50 pilings were driven into the floor of the Hudson River (they had to stop to allow the striped bass to spawn). Construction also began on the decks at the pathways that will eventually lead to the pier.
The Appellate Division denied the opponents’ appeal in early September, and on October 24th, the New York State Court of Appeals declined a request to review that decision.
Those representing the community must now turn their attention to programming and hold Diller to his promise that the island will be open to the community for low-cost and free events, and that programming will benefit the greater community.
—Arthur Z. Schwartz