New photos show ‘Little Island’ offshore park making progress at Pier 55
Little Island in May 2020 © CityRealty
The much-anticipated offshore public park in the Hudson River is coming together, with its concrete tulip-shaped pots in place and the first trees planted. New photos of “Little Island” at Pier 55 show construction progressing ahead of its scheduled spring 2021 opening. The two-acre park, designed by Heatherwick Studio and MNLA, is meant to resemble a leaf floating on water, with its concrete base sitting above the river.
Funded by billionaire Barry Diller and the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation and run by the Hudson River Park Trust, the park is estimated to cost roughly $250 million. The undulating concrete support structure gives Little Island varying elevations, between 15 and 62 feet.
Little Island will feature four different landscape typologies at its four corners, with rolling hills, walking paths, and lawns, along with 100 species of trees and shrubs. According to the park’s website, the first dozen trees, which reach 20 to 25 feet, were planted via crane on the concrete tulip-shaped piles in March.
“Little Island will be a maritime botanic garden with 35 species of trees, 65 species of shrubs, and 270 varieties of grasses, perennials, vines, and bulbs, many of which have been selected for their fragrance and attractiveness to birds and pollinators,” Signe Nielsen of MNLA said. “The landscape is one of sweeping swaths of textures and seasonally calibrated color themes punctuated by magnificent trees.”
The park includes overlooks at the northwest, southeast and southwest corners of the park, with the latter at the highest elevation point in the park, reaching 63 feet. Little Island will be home to a 700-seat amphitheater, a stage with the feel of a secret garden, and a playground with food and beverage options.
Diller originally proposed a futuristic park at the site in 2014, but opponents of the plan blocked construction from starting for nearly three years until the plug was pulled. But after an apparent deal was brokered by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the plan was revived.
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Photo © CityRealty