New park opens at Pier 42, offering playgrounds and more

The ribbon-cutting marked the official unveiling of the eight-acre park between the FDR Drive and the East River.

Edric Robinson

Jul 3, 2024, 9:22 PM

Updated 14 days ago


A new park opened at Pier 42 on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, transforming an old parking lot into recreational play areas.
“Welcome to the newly renovated Pier 42,” announced NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The ribbon-cutting marked the official unveiling of the eight-acre park between the FDR Drive and the East River.
“This is a $33.6 billion investment representing years of dedication and vision from the community and elected officials,” Donoghue said.
Officials say the park now offers playgrounds for different age groups, featuring jungle gyms, water sprinklers, ADA-compliant restrooms, solar lighting, flood-resilient features and a new gym area.
“We love it. It seems safe. I took a whole tour to check everything out. Everything is secure. It’s nice and convenient. I like the security. The bathrooms are clean, said Lower East Side resident Shaughn White.
Another park-goer, Serge Jean-Baptiste, enjoying the fitness area, added, “I love this park, the view, the scenery, the landscaping.”
The new features complement the existing tennis courts and soccer fields along the waterfront. However, some residents have concerns.
“Are we going to plant trees here? There’s no shade anywhere, and I don’t know how our kids are supposed to play without shade,” said Alina Gavrila, a Lower East Side parent.
Despite differing opinions, city officials are proud of this new addition. They say it aims to improve community connections and support the city’s sustainability goals. It’s also part of the East Side Coastal Resiliency project, which aims to protect the area from flooding, like it did during Superstorm Sandy.
“Many of us experienced Hurricane Sandy, and this project came because of the work our community did from living through what hurt us so much during those few weeks,” said Council Member Christopher Marte.
Tom Foley, commissioner of the NYC Department of Design and Construction, added, “It would have been very easy to build a wall throughout this area for miles and call it a day, but we’re not doing that. We’re building state-of-the-art park facilities both north and south of here.”
The play areas at Pier 42 are now open to the public.
Officials plan to open another park next at Murphy Brothers Playground just north of Pier 42.

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