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The downtown Manhattan skyline, as we approach the great metropolis from Upper Bay.



Why A Virtual Tour of Manhattan's Hudson River Piers?

When one thinks of Manhattan's surrounding waterways - be it the East River, the Hudson River, or Upper Bay - one usually associates the transportation aspects of the river with the various ferries that run between Manhattan and other locations.  The Staten Island Ferry, New York Waterways, the Circle Line, and other boats carry people for commuting or sight-seeing purposes.  Every so often, a large barge lumbers its way up or down the river, as they are in route in making their deliveries.  When one looks out upon the river, there is a good amount of marine traffic, but it is not like the traffic is so bad that it is overpowering.  A description of today's maritime activity pales in comparison to what the Port of New York was like during its heyday nearly a century ago.  In the early 20th century, New York City relied on an extensive transportation network consisting of railroads, tugboats, steamships, barges, and ferries.  Automobile and truck traffic was just in its infancy around the turn of the century, so the transportation technology employed at the time for delivering goods to a growing city were the fore mentioned methods of transportation.  The Hudson River was a major thoroughfare for the shipment of these goods, and the river provided a generous amount of resources for enabling a transportation network to develop along its banks.

Many of the hundred or so piers that once lined the Manhattan shore of the Hudson River no longer exist any more, but the ones that remain help to show the history behind New York City's reliance on the river as a major piece of the city's transportation network.  OldNYC.com documents the forever changing landscape of the Hudson River piers.  As you will see as you take the tour, some of the piers continue to fall victim to deterioration and neglect.  Other piers, such as the Chelsea Piers, are modernized and are used for facilities then what they were originally built for.  Along the tour, OldNYC.com will describe what industry and government agencies once resided at a pier, and then will describe what currently resides at a particular pier location.

Let's begin the tour....



Lower Manhattan, looking east.  Much of the promenade of Battery Park's Hudson River Park section was built with fill from the World Trade Center excavation.  Since this is a relatively new section of Manhattan, the piers were located just north of this section.  A new pier was built for the World Financial Center, and this pier currently services large yachts and boats.



A closer view of downtown Manhattan, with the World Trade Center displaying her prominence over the skyline.



As we proceed up the Hudson River, one turns back to catch a quick glance at the downtown skyline.



We come across the first of many piers that once lined the Manhattan shores of the Hudson River.  The Hudson River piers, controlled by the Port of New York, once numbered from piers one to one hundred.  Pier increments increased as one traveled north up the Hudson.

These wooden piles may have represented pier 1 at one time.



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