A Park Rises from the Hudson River

November 2022

Residents of the Midtown luxury rentals at 555TEN live a mere two blocks away from the Hudson River Greenway and its host of trendy new features. From the shopping and entertainment paradise at Hudson Yards to the iconic High Line, strolling along the West Side of Manhattan has never been better. One new addition to this stretch of Manhattan, the futuristic-looking Little Island public park, opened to visitors last year and has been slowly gathering acclaim as more New Yorkers explore its meticulously landscaped 2.4-acre grounds. Keep reading to learn more about this unique patch of greenery suspended above the waters of the Hudson River.

Little Island began as the dream of English designer Thomas Heatherwick, whose Vessel has been turning heads in Hudson Yards since its installation. In a New York tradition that produced enduring civic institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Heatherwick’s proposal was picked up and championed by billionaire philanthropist Barry Diller, who guided the project through a lengthy approvals process and has pledged hundreds of millions of dollars of his own money to pay for the park’s upkeep.

Heatherwick’s vision called for a grassy park perched on columns that create a visual continuity with the pylons that hold up the piers stretching out into the river from the shore. The columns, which expand into tulip shapes as they rise from the waves, are arranged at various heights, creating a park that features a central hill, on top of which visitors can get a panoramic view of the surrounding city and river, as well as a low point where an amphitheater looks out over the water. The plantings were planned and executed by Signe Nielsen, a cofounder of Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, and the dense foliage masks the park’s artificial base and transports visitors into an atmosphere like a grassy plain or wooded glen.

The central hill features a crow’s nest, while the amphitheater has a rotating schedule of concerts and dances, many of which are, like entry to the park itself, free of charge. Ample play space and winding paths make Little Island a great place for a family outing, while the lofty crow’s nest will serve as the backdrop for many a romantic moment. When you’ve taken in the sights that Little Island has to offer, head back inland and take the High Line north back to your spacious Midtown Manhattan apartment at 555TEN.