PIER 57, Chelsea

by Kevin Walsh

Pier 57 is a handsome steel and masonry structure at 10th Avenue and West 15th Street, constructed from 1950-54 as a headhouse for shipping lines. The structure is supported on three T-shaped caissons in the Hudson River just off the shoreline. The Grace Line was the building’s first tenant, serving as a cargo and shipping terminal. After the shipping line relocated from the building in 1967, it became a bus depot for the Transit Authority, later the MTA, until 2003. It was subsequently a detention center for arrested protestors during the 2004 Republican national convention; many sued and won for damages and injuries received from chemical burns suffered during exposure to asbestos, motor oil and other toxic chemicals.

Recently, the building has been reborn as a retail, offices (to include Google) and concert complex as famed venue City Winery has relocated in the building. A food market was planned by famed gourmet Anthony Bourdain, but was scuttled by Bourdain’s suicide; dining venues are planned.

Since 1954, wall bracket versions of finned “Whitestone” streetlamps have been appended to the building’s exterior. During recent renovations, the brackets received new LED pendant fixtures.

On 10th Avenue, twin Corvington lights are attached to thick guy wired stoplight poles.

Check out the ForgottenBook,┬átake a look at the gift shop, and as always, “comment…as you see fit.”

10/21/19

4 comments

Rob November 24, 2019 - 6:39 pm

The foundation for this pier was built upstate as three open-top concrete boxes, floated down to the present location and filled with water to sink them. As the superstructure was built, the water was pumped out, leaving this as the only pier with a ‘basement’.

Reply
Alan Gregg Cohen November 24, 2019 - 8:57 pm

What an attractive building. It seems to evoke streamline moderne architecture with it’s low horizontal lines and curved center section.

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frank curran December 5, 2019 - 6:28 pm

The correct location is 12th ave, any native New Yorker knows there are no piers on 10th ave! Having lived on the Westside and many of my relatives were Longshoremen. when Pier 57 was built it was State of the Art.

Reply
Adam December 15, 2019 - 2:06 pm

Actually that location is 11th Avenue. It is even in the picture. 12th Avenue starts at w 24th st

Reply

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