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PIER 51 Playground, Hudson River Park

New York, NY 


Hudson River Park stretches from Battery Park City to 59th Street along the western Manhattan riverfront, and is recognized as the largest public park project undertaken in New York City since the opening of Central Park 150 years prior. The project heralded a significant step in the reclamation of NYC’s waterfront from one that was an inaccessible, deteriorating, former industrial waterfront. Today, this long stretch of waterfront is a major public open space destination offering varied recreational opportunities.


This first phase of the project was constructed and opened to the public in 2003, and runs parallel with the West Side Highway bike path between Horatio Street and Leroy Street in Greenwich Village. Key features of the Phase 1, Segment 4 include 3 recreational piers that host synthetic turf playing fields, open lawns for sunbathing, shade structures, picnic groves seating, and a children’s playground with water features. A granite esplanade provides a corridor along the upland planted areas which is punctuated by overlooks for seating and a pedestrian bridge at the historic bownotch. Salvaged materials were re-used where possible and the site was designed to respond to its unique environmental conditions.


Alison Duncan supported with construction documents and developed the schematic design plans for Pier 51, the children’s playground water park, and some of its details, such as the cat-tail inspired perimeter fence system.

The project has received numerous industry awards and has been widely published



Project by: Abel Bainnson Butz 

Aerial Photo Credit

Joseph Sinnott 

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