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Pier in New York

Discussion in 'General Titanica' started by Barry Blackburn, Apr 18, 2003.

  1. I once did the Circle Tour of Manhattan--much recommended by the way! and I asked in passing to the tour guide "at what pier was Titanic scheduled to dock?" Needless to say, he didn't know. When in New York, I often remember this ultra trivia--but I'm STILL looking for an answer!!! Does ANYONE out there in Titanic land know which pier Titanic was scheduled to dock in? THANKS!! Barry Blackburn
  2. Unless I'm mistaken, from memory it was Pier 59. Carpathia used Cunard's Pier 54 when she got in.

    Best regards,

  3. Mark Baber

    Mark Baber Moderator Member

    No mistake, Mark; Titanic's pier was indeed 59, part of the IMM complex of piers that ran from 58 to 62, and Pier 54 is where Carpathia docked and discharged Titanic's survivors after leaving the lifeboats at 59.


    IMM used the Chelsea Piers form the time they opened in 1910. In general, Atlantic Transport used 58; White Star 59 and 60; Red Star 61; and American 62. White Star continued to use the IMM piers even after IMM sold the line in 1926; the last White Star departure from Pier 59 was Olympic, on 30 June 1934. After that date, the surviving White Star liners, now part of Cunard White Star, docked at Cunard's facilities a little to the south. That's why the steel arch which still stands at Pier 54 says "Cunard White Star".

    Pier 59 is now a driving range, with a restaurant/microbrewery at the end of it, where some of us have passed a fine summer evening or two watching harbor traffic while enjoying pints of the local brew. Pier 54 still exists, although only the steel arch remains; all of the other structures that were once there are no more.

    Sources: The New York Times, various dates in 1910, 1911, 1912 and 1934, and personal observations.
    Mike Spooner likes this.
  4. To expand on Mark's post further here is an image of the Chelsea Piers showing the Cunard Section of the Pier with the Lusitania berthed. This image dates from 1912-1913.

    The Chelsea piers originally extended along the Hudson river from West 12th street to the 23rd Street Ferry. The Chelsea piers were originally erected by the City of New York during the period of 1902-1907, at a cost of $15,000,000. The first ship to land at the newly completed Cunard piers was the Cunard Liner Lusitania on her maiden voyage in 1907. The piers went thru further construction and lengthening to better accomiadate the new 'Olympic class Liners, and White Stars officially openned for use in 1910.

    These piers were used by the following lines: Cunard, French Line, Atlantic Transport, Red Star, White Star, and the American line.

    Over 2,000,000 passengers arrived and sailed from these piers in 1914.

    Chelsea Piers
    Publisher: The American Art Publishing Company, NYC, New York, 1913
    Steven B. Anderson Collection, 2003
  5. Here is an image of all that was left of Pier 54 in 1995. This image was taken at the Titanic International Gathering, when Millvina Dean returned the this pier for the first time since April 18, 1912.

    If you look close at the image you can just make out the name Cunard-White Star

    Pier 54 Arch
    Steven B. Anderson Collection, 1995
  6. Now for a little something extra: Here is a postcard image of the original 'WHITE STAR' line piers from around 1904 - 1905 prior to the construction of the Chelsea Piers.

    Original White Star Piers
    Publisher: Detriot News Company, 1905
    Steven B. Anderson Collection, 2003
  7. Harland Duzen

    Harland Duzen Member

    Out of interest, was there ever a Pier 55 that existed? and if not, why is there a numbered gap between Pier 54 and Pier 56?
  8. B-rad

    B-rad Member

    Yes, it will be turned, or has been turned, into a floating park. I cannot find any information as to who used it, except a 1920's Port of New York Annual that states Pier 55- Thames River Line, though obviously Thames river is across the pond. I found this little tid-bit though:

  9. I remember a rule of thumb was the Pier Number Minus 40 was the number of the cross street nearest the pier.
    For example, Pier 61 was at West 21st Street.
  10. Harland Duzen

    Harland Duzen Member

    So Pier 55 never existed in 1912?

    Thank You for the list. this will be useful in research.
  11. A. Gabriel

    A. Gabriel Member

    I am extremely and vehemently opposed to the floating park concept (with a website here) intended to be built in the space between the old Piers 54 and 56. Pier 54 is a relic of maritime history and should have been left unmolested as such -- it was the pier from which Lusitania sailed in the days leading up to her own untimely end as well. But then I am only one person, and a foreigner at that, so my opinion holds less weight than a length of Marconi aerial cable.

    Small consolation at least that the plans for Pier 55 (the name of said floating park concept) include keeping the Cunard-White Star pier arch intact, according to the site's gallery. That arch has seen the ages come and go, and there it should stay for posterity's sake. What other Titanic-related sites still remain in the city that never sleeps, never stands still?
    Aelvir likes this.
  12. Tim Aldrich

    Tim Aldrich Member

    I'll be going there some time in October and had been doing a bit of research on other things that may be in the same area. I recall reading about a little monument in the area but don't recall if it was a general "mariner's" monument or something Titanic related. If I can dig up the website again I'll post a link here.

    I'm very much looking forward to seeing that last Chelsea Pier arch. White Star's pier is, IIRC, a sporting complex of sorts. I wonder if there's any of the original pier underneath all of the other stuff. It can be seen with google maps and the street views are pretty good. On a side note, the Bowery Boys podcast has an excellent episode about the Chelsea piers.
  13. A. Gabriel

    A. Gabriel Member

    The pier that Olympic frequented (and that Titanic was supposed to be berthed at) was Pier 59, which is now a golf driving range. The wooden dock posts that supported the original concrete piers are I think still original, still intact -- due to them serving as a haven for the striped bass of the Hudson river and therefore necessarily conserved.
    Tim Aldrich likes this.
  14. Aelvir

    Aelvir Member

    I completely agree. While they have stated that the Archway will remain untouched and act as a entranceway into the floating park, I feel the same with you as that sullies the legacy it had. Outside of setimental reasons, I find the floating park idea to be meaningless and overall redundant. There is no need for a park there or anywhere near Chelsea Piers. First there's Chelsea Park which is about a half mile away, then there's the Chelsea Waterside Park, that is right beside Pier 62 (which is now part of the Hudson River Park), and there's the 14th Street Park which is only 0.10 miles away from Pier 54! Also, further south is Pier 45, Pier 46, and Pier 51, all three are also parks. To put it simply: Why make a floating park there? When there's numerous park already numerous parks within a 1 mile radius of Chelsea Piers!
    Honestly a better idea would to maybe build a replica of the original Pier either on or beside the Pier, and use that as a memorial of sorts.
    While I understand people want to make what's left of Pier 54 into something less of an unkempt ruins, replacing it with a floating park when at least 7 park are in its vicinity is downright insulting. I personally think it should either be cleaned up or rebuilt, and maybe turned into a type of memorial/museum of sorts (perhaps housing artefacts and such related to not just ships associated with 54 like Lusitania and Carpathia, but Chelsea Piers as a whole).
  15. Doug Criner

    Doug Criner Member

    A number of years ago, I visited Queenstown (now Cobh) in Ireland. The original pier where Titanic passengers boarded and disembarked their tender was somewhat dilapidated but still there - hopefully it still is. Priceless.
  16. Mike Spooner

    Mike Spooner Member

    Just a matter of interested, what pier did the Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, Normandy and the USA liner use?