‚ÄčBarbara Hobens

If not for a handful or more people that good karma threw together, Pier 84 would not be there today.  Friends of Pier 84 formed in the fall of 1994.  We were all very upset that were were suddenly blocked from enjoying the beauty and cool breezes of the Hudson River.  Long story short - were were successful.

It really is quite a story, so do check back here if you want to here a most fascinating recounting of a turn-of-the-century David vs Goliath.  FYI, Goliath and David are all on "hugging terms" now! Pier 84 was saved, rebuilt, and now a Hudson River Park jewel.

Barbara Hobens designed the "Concept Garden" - a viewing garden for wildlife - at the northeast entrance on Pier 84 in Hudson River Park in 2006. Perennials, shrubs, and trees were selected in the spring and held in a makeshift nursery in front of the Hudson River Park Trust's office at Pier 40 until construction was complete for the fall installation and grand opening. Within a short installation window, Barbara donned a hardhat to arrange the irrigation, add compost, move plant materials to the site, and place hundreds of plants in time for the ribbon cutting on opening day.

Located at the end of West 44th Street, the community-tended MBG garden is maintained by West 44th Street Block Association volunteers, continuing a tradition of beautification of Pier 84 since the spring of 1995. 

New York City, New York State & Volunteers Celebrate

The Hudson River Park Trust rebuilt the collapsed pier and the joyous ribbon-cutting was held October 17, 2006. In the fall of 1994, Friends of Pier 84 formed to ensure safe public access to the river but soon faced the challenge of defeating New York City and  State plans for a tourist heliport, the USS Guadalcanal, that would have destroyed Pier 84.

It took a mere 2 years of volunteer dedication, enthusiasm, and elected official support to celebrate "mission accomplished."  The garden's plants were saved by the Parks Department and transplanted 8 blocks north to De Witt Clinton Park's newly created "Maria's Perennial Garden."  Thanks to expert urban gardeners and friends Kathleen Garman and Betsy Wagner, they still thrive.

The viewing garden at the entrance was designed for the Hudson River Trust by the founder and director of the all-volunteer Manhattan Botanical Garden (MBG), Barbara Hobens.  The Greenacre Foundation and The New York City Environmental Fund provided support for the wildlife garden's plants and "Winford" the gargoyle (named for Barbara's ancestors from Kingswinford, England), was placed to guard the garden.

Pier 84 is the largest public pier in the five-mile Hudson River Park that stretches south from West 59th to Battery Park City.  The End Hook that juts out into the Hudson River estuary offers commanding views past the George Washington Bridge and offers welcome summer breezes. 

The original pier was built in the mid-1920's at the end of West 44th Street for commercial ships and passenger liners.
Grace Kelly sailed from Pier 84 to marry the Prince of Monaco. The historic WWII carrier,Intrepid, is to the north
and Circle Line is to the south. 

The Certified Wildlife Habitat Garden, designed by Barbara Hobens, is on the left. (2006)
On the right are planters thanks to plants taken pre-reconstruction of Pier 84, (Summer 2003)