By Brian J Pape, AIA
The David Hammons sculpture “Day’s End” has finally been assembled after a long year of preparation. The concrete pilings had to be precisely set in the water to receive the tubular stainless steel framing that exactly duplicates the outer shape of the original pier house at this Pier 52. The Whitney Museum of American Art commissioned the sculpture from Mr. Hammons and has donated it to the Hudson River Park, which will be responsible for its upkeep.
At the same time, the parkland that is planned for the peninsula also progresses. Barges are being shuttled in, off-loaded of their engineered-fill cargo, while front-loaders transfer the fill and compact it at strategic locations. Passing by on the pedestrian and bike paths west of West Street, one can see the grade being built up, inch by inch, several feet above the surrounding street level, between Horatio Street to Little West 12th Street. This won’t completely protect it from strong storm surges, but it will make it readily recoverable once the storm passes. Photos credit: Brian J Pape, AIA.
Just a few feet north of the peninsula is the new Little Island, where Pier 54 and 55 used to be, opposite West 13th Street. Finishing touches are being applied in preparation for a grand opening yet this Spring. The undulating landscape has many trees growing around the spacious lawns and winding pathways and amphitheaters. It is reportedly going to be free and open to the public except for special events, yet to be announced. Photo credit: Bob Cooley.