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New York City’s waterfront is booming

Daily News
New York City’s waterfront is booming

New York City’s waterfront is booming

Think of the waterfront as New York City’s sixth borough.

At least the city’s government is − dubbing it so for the amount of planning and energy going in to revamping the Big Apple’s waterfront, said Arthur Platt, an architect and one of the guides on Classic Harbor Line Cruise’s Architectural Tour.

The tour, which lasts about three hours, is given three times a week and circles the island. It gives a sense of how quickly the city’s waterfront is changing — and helps give a new perspective on the city.

“I feel like it’s a very interesting way to catch up with all the development in different neighborhoods in a very short time,” said Meta Brunzema, an architect and founding director of the Friends of Hudson River Park, who served as a guest tour guide.

About 50 years out of the deindustrialization of the waterfront, changes have occurred at a slower pace than on land — but they are gaining steam, Brunzema said. Large lots occupied by sanitation or railyards have made spaces harder to develop, but very desirable.

“Ferry services want the space, people want it, and ecologists want to protect it,” she said. “What we really see is constant conflict resolution at work. It is very much a zone in transition at all times.”

The Daily News went on the tour. Here are our favorite shots from a city’s waterfront in transition:

Starchitecture in far West Chelsea: Shown in top image. Big names in architecture have glitzed up this section of the waterfront on the far West Side. At the far left, luxury condominium 100 11th Ave. is seen, created by French architect Jean Nouvel. Nouvel used different-size panes of glass at varying angles to pick up the light differently and create the multicolored glass effect. Moving right is the IAC Headquarters, designed by Frank Gehry. The bent glass resembles sails on a ship. In the background, the Empire State Building stands tall.

Statue of Liberty: The pedestal is closed to visitors through the end of 2012, but people can still come to Liberty Island. The New York City icon is best seen from the water.

Pier 57: After a wooden version of Pier 57 burned to the ground, it was reconstructed in the early 1950s as a state-of-the-art pier atop concrete caissons rather than wood pilings, said Brunzema. The building was designed in a 1930s Art Deco style and has served as a dock for ocean liners, a bus depot and even as a holding pen for people arrested during the 2004 Republican National Convention. Now, plans are in the works for developer Youngwoo & Associates to turn it into a complex with space for markets, restaurants and other businesses.

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