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Architects Outline Proposals For Pier 42's Grassy Makeover

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Currently, the only attraction on Pier 42 is a falling-apart abandoned shed, but last night, Signe Nielsen of the landscape architecture firm Mathews Nielsen outline two possible plans that would turn the waterfront site into an eight acre green space that could rival Brooklyn Bridge Park. The LoDown has all the details and photos of the renderings that were distributed. The dock and pilings of Pier 42 are in very poor condition, so one proposal, pictured above, would partially rebuild the deck, while the second would completely rebuild it.

The LoDown notes that many community board members favored the partial plan, and a rep from the parks department pointed out that this plan would allow the designers to spend more money on creating new facilites rather than engineering and reconstruction. The plan would rebuild part of the deck with a version of the existing shed to create a partially protected area for all-season events. A plaza would welcome visitors at Montgomery Street, and there would be a playground, a couple lawns, and marshes. A landscaped barrier would be built between the park and the East River bikeway.

The second proposal features many of the same elements, but it has a much bigger lawn in the middle of the park and that beach we've been hearing about. Both proposals include an eco-education center near the marshes and a riverfront promenade. In the partial deck plan, the promenade is more of a pier over the water, while in the full deck plan, it runs alongside the lawn. Mathews Nielsen has been studying the impact of Hurricane Sandy on the East River parks, and they plan to use resilient foliage and landscaping that helps to protect against storm surges.

[Comparison of aerial renderings of the partial and full deck proposals for Pier 42]

The whole park will cost about $60 million, and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation already provided $16 million in funding. The designers will revisit the community board in July with more detailed plans, and the parks department hopes to take the proposal before the Public Design Commission in August.
· Pier 42 Park Plans Unveiled [LoDown]
· Pier 42 coverage [Curbed]
· Pier 42 [Mathews Nielsen]