Pier 26 at Hudson River Park, Awards for Excellence in Civic Development Finalist
Noreen Doyle, CEO and President, Hudson River Park Trust
Several years after college, I was struggling with the dissertation phase of my PhD program in Comparative Literature. A good friend called to tell me that he had scheduled me for an interview at the social services organization where he worked. Aside from my having no experience in that sector, it felt like failure to table my dissertation. My friend told me none of that mattered — I needed the change, no one besides me would consider it a failure, and I could do the job because I could think and write. That three-month internship is the job that got me started on my current career path.
OLIN’s original proposal to us included an out-of-the-box idea that made building the pier much more challenging. Government doesn’t have the reputation of responding enthusiastically to extra work, but our former President, Madelyn Wils, pushed us all to figure out how to say yes. The result is the Tide Deck, an innovatively engineered space where visitors can engage with nature and the Hudson River Estuary while listening to waves wash over stones nearly a thousand feet from Manhattan’s edge. It’s a magical public place.
I love New York because it is a passionate, diverse and optimistic city where we form enduring relationships with people and places on a personal scale, be it at our bodegas or our park benches. It’s these relationships that inspire our continual drive to claim, protect and reimagine our spaces and places, and it’s our communal optimism that will keep us growing and strong into the future.