Field Trip: Hudson River Park’s Pier 57 in Chelsea (part one)

The Hudson River Park Trust and the many developers and tenants of Pier 57 — Google, Jamestown, The James Beard Foundation, RXR, YoungWoo & Associates and Baupost Group — will open new public gathering spaces, an education center and a curated local food court and culinary incubator called Market 57 tomorrow at the historic pier at the end of 15th Street. Tribecan Michael Dorf’s City Winery is already in place in the southeast corner; Google has the majority of the pier for its offices upstairs, and there is a restaurant TK for the western tip.

This is totally worth a stroll up to Chelsea and my guess is it will be packed starting day one. It’s also a great example of corporations, government, non-profits and small businesses figuring out how to work together to make something really cool for all of us.

The site was a former city bus terminal turned commercial node for the Hudson River Park Trust — it’s also a historic landmark for its engineering — which issued the contract to convert the building in the dread year of 2008. It took that decade and a half since for the developers to recover, pivot and come up with this plan, which if I may say so (I am a Trust board member, so full disclosure) is an amazing addition to the Westside and even better than the first iteration. Mayor Adams rang the opening (ship’s) bell, and while I missed the excellent jazz band in my video, you’ll hear Governor Hochul on video at the end.

Many years ago, when the Trust was holding public hearings on the space, a man asked, “What will I be able do here with a $10 bill in my pocket?” Trust president Noreen Doyle still remembered that these years later and the answer is a lot: there are public classrooms that will be staffed by the Trust’s education team and other education groups six days a week; there’s a public lounge inside and all sorts of public park spaces on the perimeter and the roof (stay tuned for the next Field Trip post on that); the food court is all local street food — reminiscent of what Anthony Bourdain originally had in mind when he was interested in the space.

That’s Tribecan Cathy Drew, who founded The River Project on Pier 25, with Trust educators Carrie Roble and Tina Walsh as well as CB1 chair Tammy Meltzer in front of the giant Google-designed touch screen. And below is the Whitney’s COO and CFO I.D. Aruede, who is also a Trust board member, and Jane Carey, the museum’s head of community affairs, basking in the sun in The Living Room — the 7400-square-foot public lounge.

You will recognize some vendors there: Nom Wah has a booth as does Fany Gerson and her New Yorkina frozen offerings; don’t miss Harlem Hops (their 125th Street IPA is excellent) or The Galley, who had a perfect high-low smoked salmon, caviar and potato chip slider that I am still thinking about. There was a creamy whipped dessert at Lolo’s, sprinkled with pepitas and mint — hopefully that is on their regular menu. See the full list of vendors here. Note that the focus for the site is on women and BIPOC-owned food concepts and this is not their first rodeo: these are noted chefs from around the city who have made their names in fast casual.

But wait, there’s more! Good To Go by the James Beard Foundation will be a kiosk incubator for fast casual concepts featuring rotating menus from established operators; and Platform by JBF will be a showcase kitchen and educational space featuring culinary arts programming and events including a rotating chefs in residence program that will open in May.



  1. Hmm…wasn’t this the space that the City originally had expected to be for non-profit use for “under-served”?

    But fast forward it ends up being yet another local amenity, helping the luxury real estate tsunami, wealthy corporations, upscale residents etc…

  2. Thrilled that Pier 57 opens *today* at 11am! Not an April Fool’s joke. It is the most well-curated, delicious food hall and just a brilliantly designed multi-use space to bring more NY’ers and $’s to support the Hudson River Park. The views inside and from the rooftop park are superb!

  3. Wish we had something cool like this instead of yet another kid’s park or yoga center

  4. Actually yeah, but continue to be a shill for privatizing public space.

    • If you consider a former bus depot public space, then yes, now it has a private tenant that supports the park with its rent and yes, I think that’s a better public use.