You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Pier 57’ tag.

Here was the first in this series.  The next five fotos are more of the set from the late 1970s/early 1980s from Seth Tane that I featured in the “fifth dimension” posts earlier this year.

I’d love to find more fotos like this, illustrating a line I’ve heard repeatedly, as variation on  . . . “NYC used to have huge pier fires.”  The smoke here might be wafting over from a NJ pier fires.  I’d also like to hear more about the general perception of piers at that time.

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My take is that emphasis in fighting the fires was on containing them, ensuring that they didn’t spread inland.  Piers, aka covered short term warehouses, were transitioning into oblivion or another life as  containerization began to supplant break bulk cargo and moved out of these areas of the sixth boro and airplanes supplanted ocean liners.  Pier maintenance slipped and fires of a range of causes  broke out.

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I’ve heard people say . . .  fires burned for weeks.

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Demolition reigned.

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(I’ve used this foto before.) In some cases . . . in NYC and elsewhere . . . retail areas were built.

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The rest of these fotos are from September 2013.  Retail buildings,  parks and residences, businesses sprang up and continue to.  And one of those places, Pier 17 on the East River side of Manhattan is transitioning again.  Bravo to the Demanes for holding out, as Howard Hughes promises to “re-energize” the area.

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Pier 57 on the Hudson River side is the venue for a similar makeover.  What was just a plan a few months back is happening now.

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Here’s the interior of Pier 57 a few days ago.

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You might recall the Nomadic Museum not far from here . . . nine years ago already.

OK, this is a wandering post.  Partly, I wanted to tell a story I heard last week from someone who fought these pier fires thirty years ago.   He related that one aspect of fighting these fires was removing “fuel.”  In some cases what would burn in these long-smoldering blazes was cargo, which would be pushed into the river.  His example was clothing, mens’ dress shirts.  Into the river whole skids of them would go.   And then, as soon as was possible,  many would be fished out . . . because to let them sink would just add to the pollution in the harbor and be wasteful.  I don’t know how common this would be, and I know nothing of the attitude of the merchandise owners or insurers  . . .  The piers were then a very different world.

Thanks to Seth for sharing these fotos.  My apologies if I’ve rendered any story inaccurately.  I’d love to see more of this type of foto and hear more stories.

This post is similar to the Loose Ends 1 post I did about the strip of Jersey that faces Manhattan.

Know the place in the foto below?  It’s changing quickly.  I took this foto yesterday, August 27, 2013.  More on this pier later in this post.

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Know this place?  I took this foto July 4, 2012; Maurania III and P. O. Edward Byrne were there for the fireworks.      It’s had many lives and is about to change again.    Pier 57 was built around the time I was born after a fire destroyed its predecessor.

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Pier 56 . . .  as shown in this foto by Seth Tane in the early 1980s . . . is now habitat, as shown here.

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The top foto shows Cromwell Pier, a place I never visted.   Click here for a great set of memories showing folks who did.

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If you used to frequent this section of Staten Island, get down there today if you want to see the last of it.

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More piers soon.

Other than Seth’s, these fotos  .  . by Will Van Dorp.

Click here and here for other Weeks cranes at work.

For my favorite bowsprite pier post, click here for some eerie pics.

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