A crumbling old Hudson River pier once used by ocean liners like the Lusitania will be torn down and replaced by a 2.7 acre park on the water featuring rolling hills and an outdoor amphitheater. Mayor de Blasio is expected to reveal further details about the park at a press conference this morning, but the Hudson River Park Trust has revealed that the park will be largely financed by a foundation formed by the billionaire couple Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg.
“New York has always reminded me of Venice, so I am happy the time has come to properly honor its waterways,” Diane von Furstenberg said in a statement. “What better than a park on the city’s western bank to rest, watch a sunset or a performance?” The talented producer Scott Rudin, theater directors George Wolfe and Stephen Daldry, and British theater executive Kate Horton will oversee the performance spaces, with Diller pledging to fund cultural events there for 20 years.
Von Furstenberg, the fashion designer, and Diller, the former head of Paramount Pictures and Fox, have committed $113 million to the park’s construction, with the city pledging another contributing $17 million on top of that, plus $18 million from New York State to build an esplanade to the pier park. The park will be between the pile fields of Pier 54 and Pier 56, which will remain in order to provide a fish habitat.
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