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Little Island’s reputation has long preceded it. Announced in 2014 with visualizations of a seemingly fantastical folly, the Hudson River’s new Pier 55 was almost immediately wrapped up in controversy over its funding by billionaire Barry Diller. Later, as the structure began to mushroom from the water during its more than five years of construction — 132 concrete piles showing off their faceted tulip heads — another marvel by London’s Heatherwick Studio was polarizing New Yorkers. The Vessel, which now faces an uncertain fate, became an emblem of the massive Hudson Yards development and the ongoing privatization of the city’s public domain.

The undulating landscape’s tulip-like “pots” were fabricated locally...
Manhattan’s Little Island Opens to Controversy and Awe

Thomas Heatherwick’s new public park is a staggering technical feat. Will it be a longterm success?

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