Less than a week after billionaire Barry Diller announced that he was pulling his support for a “floating park” at Pier 55 designed by Thomas Heatherwick, the Whitney Museum has surfaced plans for its own permanent Hudson River installation, not far from where Pier 55 would’ve taken shape, reports The New York Times.
The commission, to be created by artist David Hammons, would sit at the edge of Gansevoort Peninsula, not far from the museum’s location. According to the Times, the project would serve as a tribute to the original Pier 52 and its history, with an open frame that outlines what once stood there. The design would rely on 12 pilings, half of them on land and the other half in the water.
So how does Pier 55 figure into this? According to the Times, as the Diller-backed concept gained steam—and then flamed out—officials at the Whitney took notes on how to approach their own project on the Hudson. Pier 55’s demise gave the museum a sense of what not to do, basically—namely, keep the whole process secret.
“We’re extremely mindful of environmental and community sensitivity,” Whitney director Adam Weinberg told the Times. To that end, the museum plans to engage with locals from the very beginning and be transparent about issues like funding for the project, and its potential environmental impact.
Hammons’s installation is by no means set in stone yet; the museum first needs the approval of the Hudson River Park Trust who so far seems open to the idea. “We think it’s an inspiring idea and look forward to hearing the community’s thoughts before pursuing it further,” HRPT president Madelyn Wils told Times. The museum will present its plans to Community Board 2 on October 4.