Media mogul Barry Diller is making a last-ditch effort to build
Thomas Heatherwick's "treasure island" park on the Hudson River, despite abandoning the plans last month.
Diller issued a statement today outlining his revived enthusiasm for Pier 55, after announcing he was cancelling it on 13 September 2017.
"I'm going to make one last attempt to revive the plans to build the park, so that the intended beneficiaries of our endeavour can fall in love with Pier55 in the way all of us have," said the billionaire chairman of media group IAC, who is funding the project.
He said that the people of New York had spurred him to "put aside the disappoints and difficulties" he experienced during the ongoing battle to construct the pier.
Although it had
gained planning permission, the project came up against a series of court challenges and permit issues, resulting in costs ballooning to $250 million.
Its main opponent was advocacy group
City Club of New York, which argued that the structure was not suitable for its proposed location in a protected estuary.
Diller now needs to reinstate his agreement with the
Hudson River Park Trust, which would manage the public space, and regain the various construction and operation permits for the project.
"We'll need to know that the plaintiffs will not reinstate their litigation," said Diller. "And with all that, we'll joyfully proceed."
Heatherwick, who first unveiled the design for Pier 55 in November 2014, told Dezeen he was saddened by Diller's decision to abandon the project when it was announced.
The British designer – whose
Garden Bridge has a similarly journey before it scrapped in August – described Pier 55 as a "treasure island".
His proposal comprises a series of green areas and event spaces supported by a cluster of mushroom-shaped columns stretching 56 metres from the Chelsea shoreline into the Hudson River.
Dezeen has contacted Heatherwick Studio for comment. Read Diller's full statement below:
In the last month I have been the recipient of so much importuning, from so many people, all with the same sentiment: they all express their hope that we not give up and instead find some way to proceed with building Pier 55. Letters/calls/emails/texts – and just walking the streets of New York – I have had countless people tell me how much they were looking forward to having this new pier, and how unfortunate were the circumstances of its cancellation.
This has all had a profound effect on me and my family. So many people had worked for six years to create both the concept and the plans for the pier. In these last weeks I began to think that we should not let it go, and that I would try to put aside the disappoints and difficulties of these last years.
So, I'm going to make one last attempt to revive the plans to build the park, so that the intended beneficiaries of our endeavour can fall in love with Pier 55 in the way all of us have. We'll need to reinstate our agreements with the Hudson River Park Trust, with the State and Federal agencies that had given us permits, our contractors, and... we'll need to know that the plaintiffs will not reinstate their litigation. And with all that, we'll joyfully proceed.