“It fits right into the theatrical world of 18th-century English garden follies.”
– Architecture critic Michael Kimmelman praised the new complex in The New York Times.
Little Island Park at Pier 55 is a man-made island that opened in the middle of the pandemic in May 2021 in New York City, next to Hudson River Park.
The park, designed by Heatherwick Studio, is connected to Manhattan’s Hudson River Park by pedestrian bridges at 13th and 14th Streets. Little Island rests on the Hudson River, between the Meatpacking District and Chelsea, above the remains of the former Harbors 54 and 55, which formerly served as a berth for ships of the Cunard Steamship Company. The Lusitania used to sail from here, and the Carpathia sailed here with the Titanic survivors.
Little Island covers an area of 2.4 hectares and 132 tulip-shaped structures hold it above the water. The oddly shaped structures rest on 280 concrete piles in the riverbed. The tulips are between 4.6 and 18.9 m above the waterline. The Little Island area is home to 66,000 flowers and 114 trees, representing a total of 350 species. From its highest point, The Hill, there are stunning panoramic views of Manhattan and the Hudson River.
The Glade, a sloping grassy area of the park where you can wander around the manicured lawns. The Play Ground is the central area of the park with kiosks and benches. It also has its own 687-seat amphitheatre, where cultural performances and children’s activities are held.
The park officially opened on 21 May 2021. Visitors were then asked to book tickets online in advance to avoid a major rush. But as the opening ceremony coincided with the lifting of pandemic restrictions in New York, the website selling tickets crashed due to the huge interest.
Little Island is officially a gift to the people of New York City from Barry Diller, head of the Furstenberg Family Foundation. The Diller Family Foundation has also committed to fund the maintenance of the park for twenty years. Thus, according to Diller, the total contribution of the foundation will reach $380 million, of which maintenance costs will amount to $120 million.
The park is free to visit and open from 6am to 1am. However, until 30 September, between noon and 8pm, admission is limited and advance booking is required.
Address: Pier 55 at Hudson River Park Hudson River Greenway, NY 10014