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Old 02-26-2014, 11:03 AM
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Pier 54, New York

History

Pier 54 was one of a set of piers running along the West Side of Manhattan from West 12th to 23rd Street that made up the Chelsea Piers that was completed in 1910. It was designed by the architectural firm of Warren and Wetmore, which also designed Grand Central Terminal. The piers replaced a hodgepodge of run-down waterfront structures with a row of grand buildings embellished with pink granite facades.

The pier itself is at Little West 12th Street and the Hudson River in the Meatpacking District/Greenwich Village neighborhood.

Components of the Chelsea Piers included the White Star Line in the north and the Cunard Line in the south. The Titanic was headed for Pier 59 (at about 18th Street).

Titanic and Lusitania

In April 1912 following the Titanic sinking the RMS Carpathia picked up survivors. The ship first went to the White Star piers where it discharged the Titanic's lifeboats that had been brought aboard before coming back to Pier 54 to discharge the passengers.

The RMS Lusitania left the port in 1915 before being torpedoed and becoming the rallying cry for American involvement in World War I.

The pier continued luxury liner service until the 1930s when a luxury liner row was built between West 44th and West 52nd Street to handle larger liners.

The pier was used for troop ships during World War II. After the war it was used as part of the W. R. Grace and Company and United States Lines freight operations.

Abandonment

In the 1980s plans were made to demolish it (and the rest of the Chelsea Piers) for the Westway highway. In 1991 the structure was torn down although it remained an open air pier and the entrance archway was preserved. A faded sign on the archway notes the name of the merged Cunard White Star line.

Since then it has been used for concerts and the annual Gay Pride dance each June.

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The archway is the only remaining identifiable piece of the pier

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Pier 54 in 1991, before it was demolished. This is the second shed to occupy the space; a fire in 1932 ravaged the original shed. Note the metalwork that once held the "Cunard" signage

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Chelsea Piers and Lusitania about 1910

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The Carpathia at Pier 54 after the Titanic rescue

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The iconic arch in twilight

Various then-and-now images below:

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Old 02-27-2014, 12:48 AM
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Re: Pier 54, New York

Nice post

At least they saved some of Pier 54. It’s sad to see history being demolished building by building. Beautiful arched entrance and what looks like an original tall cast iron lamp post. A million dollar view. ~ Magic ~

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Old 02-27-2014, 04:12 PM
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Re: Pier 54, New York

luv the entrance buildings in 1910. too bad they couldn't preserve them.

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Old 02-27-2014, 09:40 PM
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Re: Pier 54, New York

Very informative post! NY is on my bucket list for sure

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Old 02-28-2014, 12:04 AM
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Re: Pier 54, New York

Love your posts, Sharon!!!

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Old 02-28-2014, 08:10 PM
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Re: Pier 54, New York

Fantastic thread, Sharon.

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Old 03-01-2014, 08:58 PM
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Re: Pier 54, New York

Nice piece of history

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