Archives of the Mayor's Press Office

Date: Tuesday, April 10, 2001

Release #110-01

Contact: Sunny Mindel/Lynn Rasic
  Jane Rudolph (PARKS) 212-360-1311
  Colleen Roche (For Riverside South Planning Corporation) 212-575-4545


Largest New Greenway Opens Along the West Side of Manhattan

Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani today joined Donald J. Trump; Parks Commissioner Henry J. Stern; City Planning Commissioner Joseph B. Rose; and Riverside South Planning Corporation Chair Phillip Howard to celebrate the opening of Riverside Park South. The 7-acre waterfront park and new public pier is part of an eventual $60 million, 20 plus-acre park connecting Riverside and Hudson River Parks.

"We've seen many physical transformations take place in New York City over the last 7 years, but few are as dramatic as the ongoing renewal of the West Side waterfront," Mayor Giuliani said. "Thanks to the support of Donald Trump and the Riverside South Planning Corporation, this park will provide New Yorkers with an opportunity to explore the beauty of the waterfront while cycling, walking or jogging. This mixed-use approach to development is a great example of how civic and economic revitalization can work to the advantage of everyone involved."

Parks Commissioner Stern said, "This park will be brought to life by the children and adults who use it and by the wealth of activities in which they can participate. Notably, young people will have the chance to learn fishing and kayaking, and to study the diverse natural life that inhabits the estuary. We are particularly excited that this new park and the greenway along 59th Street to 72nd Street opens the possibility for New Yorkers to walk, skate, and bicycle along the Hudson's edge for fourteen uninterrupted miles."

Donald Trump said, "Ten years ago, there were many people who believed this day could never come. Nevertheless, we have succeeded beyond all expectations. I am thrilled to have spearheaded the design and funding of this great park. Most importantly, the park represents a fully collaborative effort between the Trump Organization, the community groups comprising the Riverside South Planning Corporation and the City of New York. For many years to come, all New Yorkers will fully enjoy this wonderful park."

City Planning Chairman Rose said, "This continuous pedestrian and bicycle route from the Battery to George Washington Bridge is emerging as one of the world's great urban waterfront experiences. It results from a planning vision with mayoral leadership and coordination, and with the cooperation of countless parties, agencies and interests."

Riverside Park South, designed by Thomas Balsley Associates and funded by Hudson Waterfront Associates, retains the industrial flavor of the railroad yard once situated on its grounds. Angular paths, formed out of the old concrete relieving platforms, evoke the railroad tracks. Abandoned ramps and piers, as well as a rusting gantry, remain in remembrance of times and technologies past.

The park's design includes facilities for athletic use, as well as areas for reflection. Three basketball courts, two handball courts, and a three-quarter-size soccer field invite athletes to hone their skills. A promontory, esplanade, and winding walkway welcome visitors who wish to enjoy nature and experience river's breezes. Built atop the remains of the original wooden shipping Pier I, is a 750-foot long recreational pier. Visitors to the pier will be surrounded by the river almost completely, experiencing a view of Manhattan once reserved for sailors.

Six non-profit civic groups -- the Regional Plan Association, the Municipal Art Society, The Natural Resources Defense Council, the Parks Council, Riverside Park Fund, and Westpride -- collaborated with the developer, elected officials and City agencies to design the basis plan of Riverside Park South.

Riverside South was approved on the condition that the developer pay for the creation of a 20-plus acre park, and fund its maintenance in perpetuity. Sixteen buildings would be built, and the land along the Hudson River waterfront deeded to the City of New York for parkland.

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