Photo: Darren McGee/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul
The Park’s Newest 5.5-acre Green Space Features the First Public Beachfront in Manhattan
Recreational Space and Amenities Include Lounging Areas, a Salt Marsh, a Sports Field, an Adult Fitness Area, and Misting Station
Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams welcomed the opening of Gansevoort Peninsula, a 5.5-acre green oasis that is now the largest stand-alone recreational space within Hudson River Park. The $73 million project, designed by a team led by Field Operations, features Manhattan’s first public beachfront, with a rocky seating ledge and a new water access point for kayakers and other small boaters. Gansevoort Peninsula also includes a large sports field, boardwalks and other walking promenades, a large seating lawn, a picnic area, an ecological salt marsh, and 20 million juvenile oysters in the water.
“This is how we do things in New York. We see beauty and potential, we roll up our sleeves and we get to work,” Governor Hochul said. “This collaboration between New York City and State will benefit everyone who visits here on the shore of the Hudson, and it checks a lot of boxes from climate change mitigation to competition on the ball fields, from a stroll with your pup to sitting on the beach. It’s been 25 years in the making and we’ve shown once again that anything worth having is worth working for.”
New York City Mayor Eric Adams said, “Gansevoort Peninsula is a true green space for the 21st century, incorporating innovative design and helping to prepare the west side of Manhattan for climate change. Our administration is working to provide open space in every community and expand access to public parks in all five boroughs. The city has invested more than $70 million in this critical project that will help us reach that goal, and we hope New Yorkers enjoy all the wonderful amenities it has to offer.”
Located in Hudson River Park between Gansevoort Street and Little West 12th Street, and opposite the Whitney Museum of American Art, Gansevoort Peninsula delivers a wide array of spaces for lounging, fitness and fun. The resilient southern edge provides direct access to the Hudson River for non-motorized boats and offers stunning views of the River, the lower Manhattan skyline, and Day’s End, a monumental, site-specific sculpture by David Hammons donated to the Park by the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2021. The adjacent beach features 1,200 tons of sand with beach umbrellas, Adirondack-style chairs and a misting feature for cooling down or rinsing off sand. A large picnic area with tables and benches overlooks the River, and a boardwalk with a Pine Grove draws people onto the site from the adjacent esplanade before connecting with the western esplanade where Manhattan’s Thirteenth Avenue was once located. While the Hudson River’s water quality has significantly improved since the Clean Water Act was passed in the 1970s, Gansevoort Peninsula is designed to be a sunbathing beach and swimming will not be permitted.
Given the Peninsula’s width — much wider than Hudson River Park’s typical piers — the Trust and the design team were able to build a large “U13” ballfield in the center of the Peninsula, a feature much desired by local residents. Other recreational features include an adult fitness area and two dog runs — one for larger dogs and one for smaller dogs — with water features that will open later this fall. A small area where dog owners will be able to socialize with their dogs will also be included. At the Peninsula’s eastern edge, a building, designed by nARCHITECTS, will include public restrooms, a concession stand and a small area to support Park maintenance needs. Gansevoort Peninsula will be newly connected to the inland community through Gansevoort Landing, a new crosswalk created by New York State and City Departments of Transportation, and a pedestrian plaza created by the Meatpacking District BID. Hudson River Park is also proud to continue hosting FDNY Marine Company 1 on site.
The design for Gansevoort Peninsula was informed by extensive community engagement. Beginning in March 2019, the Trust and Field Operations, in partnership with Community Board 2 and the Park’s Advisory Council, organized well attended public meetings and a design charrette to solicit and incorporate feedback from the community. Through interactive exercises focused on ideas for future uses and scale, these sessions played an important role in selecting the various features and amenities on Gansevoort Peninsula, ultimately achieving a balance between active recreation, environmental features, and spaces for relaxing and lounging.
Financing for Gansevoort Peninsula was provided by the City of New York and restricted funds to the Trust secured through a settlement from Friends of Hudson River Park. Funding for Day’s End was secured entirely by the Whitney Museum.
Gilbane Building Company and Invictus Engineering served as the construction management team on the project. Construction services were provided by Steven Dubner Landscaping, JRCRUZ Corporation, EJ Electric, Trevcon, Padilla Construction Services, Eastern Plumbing, C.D.E. Air Conditioning Co., and Interphase Electric Corp.
With the opening of Gansevoort Peninsula and the upcoming openings of Pier 97 and the Pier 26 Science Playground, the long-envisioned public portions of Hudson River Park are approximately 95 percent complete. Pier 97, the Park’s northernmost pier, will open later this fall, delivering a large creative playground, ball sports zone, overlook and sunset deck, along with superb views of the River and city skyline. The Pier 26 Science Playground features larger-than-life interactive play structures in the shape of native and endangered sturgeon species and is opening in the next few months This year also marks the 25th anniversary of the creation of Hudson River Park, an exciting milestone as the Trust finishes the build-out of the Park.
About Hudson River Park Trust
The Hudson River Park Trust is a partnership between New York State and City charged with the design, construction, and operation of the four-mile Hudson River Park, which currently attracts more than 17 million visits annually. Both the Trust and the park itself are governed by the Hudson River Park Act, a 1998 law that established the park and its requirements. Guided by a vision for a magnificent waterfront park, the Trust continues to advance park construction and ensure the park’s future financial self-sufficiency.