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Pier 54

This discussion on "Pier 54" is in the US Hospitality to Survivors section; Hi, Does anyone know when the building on Pier 54 was torn down??? I remember ...

      
   
  1. #1
    Trent Pheifer
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    Hi,
    Does anyone know when the building on Pier 54 was torn down??? I remember seeing a picture of it a couple of years ago. I went there this past week and all I found was the arch, I thinks its now like a skating park. I took pictures I will try to post thenm later.

    _Trent

  2. #2
    Bob Cruise
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    Don't know when Pier 54 was torn down, but I can tell you a couple of years ago they held a massive outdoor dance there.

    That same year, the disco version of "My Heart Will Go On" was popular.

    People hopping and hollering to a loud, vamped-up musical ballad to the Titanic's dead - on the very spot where the survivors had arrived 86 years before.

    Too weird.

    Bob

  3. #3
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    I remember Mrs. Pope getting a last look at it sometime around 1989 or 1990. She actually has a little piece of it as a souvenir. I have a picture of her standing on the remaining structure. I have photographed the arch many times too. There were all kinds of plans to make a city park area there- early in 1988 vagrants camped out there, it was full of weeds and trash and fenced off, grafitti, etc. Sad to see the decay of such a special place.

  4. #4
    Trent Pheifer
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    I recently wrote to mayor Guiliani in New York asking if they could put a plaque on the arch and save the arch from being torn down. Because not a whole lot of people know the significance of the pier. I am going to write to some historical preservations about it. I doubt it will work but I figured it was worth a try. Atleast I gave a shot at saving it.

    -Trent

  5. #5
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    Is it true that Pier 54 became "Studio 54"? I heard something to that effect. Can't remember where, but would like to know if it's accurate.

  6. #6
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    I rather doubt that. Studio 54, the nightclub, is once again a Broadway theatre, where the revival of Cabaret is currently playing. I was there for a performance two summers ago, but I didn't see any sign of water in the vicinity.

    It's a great show, though.

  7. #7
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    Hello, Trent:

    The shed for Pier 54 was torn down in 1990 or 1991. (I can get a more exact date if you need it.) Ken Marschall and I went to New York in January of 1990 specifically to visit and photograph the pier for the new painting he was doing at the time of Lusitania leaving on her last voyage. We photographed the pier from every conceivable angle, both inside and out, and even took deep paint scrapings from the pier shed to try to find the original color, not realizing that it would be the last time we'd see it intact. I can't tell you how fortunate I feel to have those photos. The only part of the pier we were not able to get to was the upper level although we tried our best.

    Several months after our visit, I was contacted by a preservationist in New York, who had been told that the shed was going to be torn down. A letter-writing campaign ensued to the then New York governor, Mario Cuomo. He showed no interest in saving the pier, but the preservationists seemed to be making headway by publishing articles in various magazines and the New York newspapers, making the public aware of the pier's history. Someone who wanted the pier torn down must have seen the handwriting on the wall because the next thing we knew, over a long holiday weekend, a wrecking company came in when no one was looking and started tearing down the pier shed. Horrified, the preservationist scrambled to do what he could, but it was too late. He was successful, though, in saving a number of decorative features from the pier (including the number "54" from the water end of the pier, some wrought-iron staircases, and a few other items). After some pressure, the city decided to leave the arch on the land side standing.

    I hope this helps.

    Eric Sauder

  8. #8
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    Photo of Pier 54-or what's left of it.
    http://www.geocities.com/revdma2/photoexhibit.html

  9. #9
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    The picture didn't come up on my computer, so I apologize if this is the same photo.
    All Ahead Full!


  10. #10
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    Does anyone know if the remnants of the White Star/Cunard Pier are still standing in NYC? I know they are at West St. and approximately 13th. As of the summer 2005, I believe it was still standing but I've heard rumors that it's going to be torn down. I found what I believe to be it on google earth, but I don't know when the photo was taken. I'd like to plan a visit if its still there. Thanks.

    ~A

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...KKG/pier54.jpg

  11. #11
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    I've not heard anything about the remnants of Cunard's Pier 54 lately. White Star's pier, if I remember correctly, was actually Pier 59. It's gone, and a restaurant called "The Golf Club" and a driving range were built where the pier used to be (I don't know if they used the old foundations, or if they rebuilt the pier from the pilings up, or just filled it with landfill). You can see it on Google Earth--it's a strip of green jutting out into the water a bit to the north of Pier 54.

    --Jim

  12. #12
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    Pier 54, and the entrance arch with "Cunard White Star" still visible, are still there; I passed by them last Friday. The rumors Allison refers to are just that; the pier is part of the Hudson River Park and is to be "devoted to historic ships" as part of the park's development.

    The restaurant on Pier 59 is the Chelsea Brewing Co.; I was there too last Friday.

    [Moderator's Note: This message and the two immediately above it have been moved from the separate thread in which they were originally posted to this pre-existing one addressing the same subject. MAB]

  13. #13
    Noel F.Jones
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    Cigar Lounge, Single Malt and Cognac bar? Seems like an excellent disposal for a redundant steamship pier.

    Now does anyone know if the fishmeal shed at Walvis Bay is still standing?

  14. #14
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    I finally got to see the pier this weekend! It's much larger than I thought but it's absolutely beautiful

  15. #15
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    I know there's been a thread somewhere on here before but damned if I can find it! Does anyone have any photos of Pier 54 before it's demolition? I've seen pics of the steel arch thats left but would love to see pics of when the rest was still standing.Many thanks

    [Moderator's Note: This message. originally posted to another topic, has been moved to the thread Aidan couldn't find. MAB]

  16. #16
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    My best memory about Pier 54 is the Lusitania National Geographic Explorer episode my mother taped when I was, god, like 5 or 6? I always associate Enya with the Lusitania now!

    By the way I WANT THOSE PHOTOS ERIC TOOK WITH KEN! I've never seen any photographs of the interior of Pier 54 (except for the newsreel footage that appears on most documentaries!) especially in its derelict state!

  17. #17
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    I was thinking the same thing, are the Eric Sauder pictures on a web-site somewhere to check out? Either way I'm glad Eric and Ken got to take a look around the area before it was mostly gone. When did Pier 59 go? Does anyone have pictures of that before the wrecking ball hit?

  18. #18
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    When did Pier 59 go?

    The pier itself is still there, as is Pier 54 and its still-standing steel arch. The pierhead building was demolished in the early 1960's.

  19. #19
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    Thanks Mark. I did do some research into the chelsea piers. I missed the building destruction of 54 in the 60's. A visit over there my next time in New York will be a must.

  20. #20
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    Tom- For interior views of the Chelsea Piers from the winter of 1977/'78, check out the over the top thriller Eyes of Laura Mars. Her studio is set on the piers (an in joke, trading on the piers notorious reputation from the previous summers) and there is a nice view of the lower level of the complex as her car drives through it. One gets to see at least one good long shot of the embarkation hall, as the titular heroine runs down its length in terror. And, finally, there is a scene shot on that upper level platform at the end from which people could watch departures and arrivals.

    The complex seemed to be in pretty good shape when the film was shot.

  21. #21
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    Thank you Jim,

    Nice to hear from you again. From some pictures I've found showing the external building of Pier 54 a few months before it was destroyed it looked solid. I'll be sure to check the above flick out though, what a unique way of touring the piers!!

  22. #22
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    What ships used it.

  23. #23
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    Cunard's until 1934; then Cunard White Star's.

  24. #24
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    Ok. Thanks!

  25. #25
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    I have located another site that mentions the idea that Pier 54 was at the time a Cunard dock and that it was most likely not used for Titanic. Most likely it was Pier 59, which was at the time a White Star dock. Is there any truth in this. Here is the link where i got this information from :
    http://www.atlanticliners.com/pier_54.htm

  26. #26
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    I'm not sure what you're getting at here, Hildur. It's clear beyond all doubt that Pier 54 was a Cunard pier and 59 was a White Star pier, as stated in the earlier messages in this thread. Only if Pier 59 had, for example, suffered catastrophic damage during Titanic's trip to New York would Titanic have docked anywhere than at 59.

  27. #27
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    I know, i was just trying to put rumours to rest. I was just very curious why it was the Cunard line dock instead of the White Star dock. Either way, i know (I have photos of survivors) at Pier 54.

  28. #28
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    Rumors? What kind of rumors?

    I was just very curious why it was the Cunard line dock instead of the White Star dock.

    I'm not quite sure what you mean by this.

 

 

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