Pier 26 is Getting a New Science Playground

In the rendering above, north is up, the Hudson River and esplanade is left, and the bikeway and West Street are at right side. Text and photo by Brian J Pape, AIA.

Pier 26 in Hudson River Park (HRP) at the end of North Moore Street (is there a South Moore Street?) is already a beautiful extension of recreation and educational activities, with several play fields, benches and swings. When it opened in 2020 during the pandemic, it featured a special estuary wetland under the walkways at the west end. Called The Tide Deck, it is an engineered rocky salt marsh created to provide an immersive and educational river ecology experience and a supportive environment for wildlife.

So, when the HRP posted the new designs for a specialized science-themed play area to complement Pier 26, the larger-than-life play features in the forms of native and endangered sturgeon were a surprising delight! Designed by the OLIN Studio, this marine-themed play area features seating, lighting, safety surfacing, fencing and extensive landscaping.

Expected to open later in 2023, the Pier 26 Science Play Area is the result of a private fundraising campaign by Hudson River Park Friends with support from the New York City Council and Manhattan Borough President.