Pier 57 – NYC’s Largest Rooftop Park

Hi friends, welcome back! I’ve got a brand-new NYC park to share with you all today that I previously mentioned in my Little Island Spring post. Pier 57 opened to the public in April 2022 and is located off 15th Street in between Chelsea Piers and Little Island. This rooftop park is almost two acres and open from 7 am until 10pm daily. To get to the park, you go inside the building and take an elevator up to the top floor (there are signs everywhere so you can’t get lost). I went during the week after I visited Little Island so I had almost the entire rooftop to myself.

Pier 57 originally opened in 1954 as a terminal for Grace Line and then in 1969 it became the Hudson Pier Depot for the New York City Transit Authority. The depot closed in 2003 and the pier had been closed until 2008 when The Hudson River Park Trust put a Request for Proposal to renovate the park. RXR Youngwoo and Baupost won the proposal and have invested over $410 million for restoration. This pier is listed in the National Register of Historic Places so the team has been working with the New York State Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service to make sure the restoration is sensitive to the historic nature of the structure.

This pier doesn’t look like something special that would be listed in the National Register of Historic Places, but if you (figuratively) look under the surface, you will see its unique architecture different from the other piers. There are three concrete caissons that support the weight of the pier and are like a basement. For those of you, like me, who had never heard of a caisson before, I took this picture from Pier 57’s website to better show the architectural technique. This style is very different from the neighboring Little Island that is held up by tulip like structures in the sea.

Over fourteen years later and the building on the pier is still under construction, but the rooftop is open for everyone to enjoy. Per Pier 57’s website, “In Fall 2022, a new public living room, environmental tech classrooms for Hudson River Park’s River Project educators, a food market curated by the James Beard Foundation, and additional community spaces under Jamestown’s oversight will join City Winery on the ground floor in welcoming and serving the public”. Once the food market is finished, I think this area will be incredibly popular and it’ll be like a waterfront Chelsea Market.

Pier 57 receives no public funding and will be financially self-sufficient with most of the revenue coming from Google’s rented offices, City Winery (which I still need to go to), and the future food market.

I was afraid to step on the grass, it looks so pristine, but it’s safe to sit on and have a picnic. There’s also plenty of seating along the perimeter of the rooftop with spectacular views.

My favorite part of the park is the incredible views of Little Island, Lower Manhattan, the Hudson River, and Midtown. I felt like I was on top of the world here, even though I was only about five stories up.

I believe once the food stalls open, Pier 57 will be incredibly popular! In the meantime, it’s a great spot for views of Little Island, Lower Manhattan, Chelsea Piers, and Hudson Yards. I think it’s worth coming up here and about half an hour would suffice to really take in the sights, especially if you’re checking out Little Island next door.  This would also be a nice spot for a lunch break or just to get some fresh air if you live or work in the Meatpacking District. In my opinion, the more public green spaces in the city, the better. The Hudson River Park Trust has been doing a great job restoring all the abandoned piers along the Hudson River and I’m looking forward to checking out more!

19 thoughts on “Pier 57 – NYC’s Largest Rooftop Park

  1. An awesome spot Lyssy, to be sure. Any green space in a big city is good to have. So glad they are getting innovative in how they create parks these days. They are looking at a linear park here along to top of our major rail and street trestle. Hope it comes to pass. It will be more like your High Line as it is on the upper deck high above the river along where streetcars used to run. Happy Monday. Allan

    1. Thank you, Allan! I agree, the more green space the better. They are definitely getting innovative and it seems they’re really taking the conservations/environmental impacts seriously. I hope your linear park comes to pass, I bet it would serve as an excellent photo spot for you!

    1. Such a great spot to relax and take in the views. Hope you make it to NYC soon!

  2. Mm, definitely adding this to my NYC list should I ever make it back. Another lofty perspective (and a green one to boot) of that dazzling skyline can’t be a bad thing. Great shots.

    1. Thank you! I’d definitely add to your list, especially since it’s so close to Little Island. The fresher air, breeze, and view of the skyline can’t be missed.

    1. The views from here are my favorite, it was nice to explore before the crowds!

    1. Haha it does look like a mini golf course! It is neat having so many different parks

  3. Travelling_Han & I had the same thought: the grassy areas remind me of putting greens. I assume the big “dots” are light wells to the spaces below? Also, hello again, leaning buildings! 😉

    1. They definitely are like beautiful putting greens, maybe even Augusta caliber! I think they are lights for the space below, but it’s still in development so I will have to report back. I will never not be able to see the leaning buildings.

    1. It seems all the new developments are trying to be unique and outdo the other buildings, that’s my only explanation 🙂

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