There are so many tidbits of common history strewn about Manhattan. You really need a Docent to find all the little nooks and crannies. My mom was great at finding details, holes-in-the-walls and taught me how to do it as a child.
Pier 54 is the pier that the Titanic didn’t reach for its maiden voyage.
Cunard White Star Lines goes back to the civil war era. People didn’t used to fly from Europe in hours, they had to take a ship across the ocean and it took almost a week. One of the relics that has been in disuse all my life, but still stands today is the Cunard White Star Lines Entryway arch that marks pier 54, just south of the Chelsea Piers. The wooden pier is long gone, but the Iron arch remains, with the name echoing out of the past through the rusty patina. I’m glad no one removed it as junk. You can see the beach we’re building though the superstructure.
True to New York forward looking mentality. we’re going to build a beach on the Hudson River. Yes a beach. it’s mostly prefabricated. These wine glass shaped concrete “tulip” things were all shipped in as they are. The cranes placed each one on the floor of the river (actually the Hudson isn’t a river at all, it’s a tidal estuary. The current flows both ways and further north it’s fresh water, though it’s salt water down here.)
The park, located from Gansevoort Street to Little West 12th Street—along what used to be 13th Avenue—will have a sandy beach area with kayak access and a seating area; a salt marsh, habitat enhancements; a large sports field; and on its western side, picnic tables and lounge chairs.
Feel free to ask me for more details.