A waterfront public art proposal is yet another sign that the Meatpacking District is quickly changing into a hot cultural center. Whitney Museum officials presented the proposed artwork, Day’s End by New York artist David Hammons, age 74, to the local community board on October 4th as the first of many steps in the approval process. The sculpture would alter the Hudson River Park edge of Pier 52, known as the Gansevoort Peninsula, which could potentially raise environmental questions. On the other side of the peninsula is Pier 53, the home of the New York City Fire Department’s Marine Company 1, a functioning fireboat house and pier.
Mr. Hammons himself proposed the project to the Whitney. According to Adam Weinberg, the Whitney’s Director, “It will not impose on any uses of the Gansevoort Peninsula. You can still have baseball fields, you can still have park [space]. There are essentially no shadows, it’s completely open to the light, to the air…” The installation would belong to the Hudson River Park Trust and be maintained with Whitney funds.
The frame of brushed stainless steel, non-rusting posts, and beams would exactly duplicate the outline and location of the original 373-foot-long, 50-foot-tall Pier 52 shed. The committee unanimously approved the plans, which would become one of the largest public art installations in New York City.
—Brian J. Pape