Updated 11:34 PM EST, Fri, Jan 15, 2021

NYC Floating Park: $170 Million Hudson River Project in 2016

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A futuristic, pseudo-island city oasis on the Hudson River will soon rise. According to CNN Money, the project is called Pier55 and is generously funded by media billionaire Barry Diller and fashion designer wife Diane von Furstenberg. Construction will reportedly begin in 2016.  

Once a functioning pier, the area will now become a 2.7-acre park and media venue teeming with greenery, promising to feature rolling hills, trees, footpaths and open spaces. It will also be housing a 700-seat amphitheater, wrote Business Insider.

The source also reported that the park is designed by Heatherwick Studio and landscape architect Signe Nielsen.

Nielsen told the press, "Unexpected topography and captivating spaces will create physical, visual and cultural experiences found nowhere else in the city, much less on the waterfront."

He also believed that the project's visuals would offer a fresh look. "The drama and delight of the landscape will make this a magnificent destination that will define a new paradigm of public parks."

Capital New York said that Diller and von Furstenberg's generous pledge is the largest private donation for a public park in New York City's history.

Hudson River Park Trust president and C.E.O. Madelyn Wils said via the outlet, "This is an extraordinary amount of money... This is really a legacy project for [Diller]."

Diller said over The New York Times, "I have always loved public spaces. It's entirely my fault that this has become so ambitious. We will fail in our ambition, outsized or whatever it may be, if this doesn't feel completely like a park and completely like a performance space."

The outlet said the park will be built 186-feet off the Hudson River's shoreline and set to be supported by 300 mushroom-shaped concrete columns. These structures are said to measure "from 70 feet above the water to 15 feet above."

MNN reported that the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation will be contributing $130 million to the estimated $170 million project; NYC is giving $17 million. On the other hand, the state will be building a public esplanade worth $18 million leading to the park.

The New York Times cited Diller to recruit partners expected to oversee the park's performance spaces. They include Scott Rudin (film and theater producer), George C. Wolfe (former producer of the Public Theater), Stephen Daldry (director and producer) and Kate Horton (British theater executive).

The area was once known as Pier 54, the final departure point of RMS Lusitania. It was also the site where RMS Carpathia docked to bring survivors of the sunken Titanic, wrote MNN.

Business Insider said the park is expected to open by 2019.

What do you think about the project? Are you planning to pay a visit? We'd love to hear your comments below!

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