Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Fish gotta swim near Hudson River

As the development of Hudson River Park continues on Manhattan's west side many changes are taking place. Longtime resident The River Project is looking to take advantage of the changing landscape to construct a temporary aquarium near downtown. JB

New York Harbor fish might soon make an appearance on the bank of the Hudson River, if a Tribeca marine science field station gets its way.

The River Project, a 19-year old non-profit organization, hopes to build City Fish, a temporary, modular outdoor aquarium exhibit next summer on the bike path/walkway, near Stuyvesant High School. Designed with sweeping windows, passersby will be able to observe native New York Harbor fish, invertebrates and seaweed from outside, although visitors could also step
inside the 1,000-sq. ft. aquarium structure, which might open to the public as soon as next summer. Greenery will cascade down from the rooftop and decorate the ground level as well.

The River Project was displaced from its longtime home at Pier 26 for the renovation of Segment 3 of the Hudson River Park project. The Hudson River Park Trust, which is developing the park, donated park space north of Chambers St. to the River Project until renovation begins on that portion of the park. The River Project hopes to open the aquarium by July 4 and keep it open until construction begins near the bike path, which will start sometime in 2007. Last week, the organization submitted a proposal to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation for a $1 million cultural enhancement grant.

“This is basically our one chance of doing this project,” said River Project founder and executive director Cathy Drew in a telephone interview. “We’re putting all our resources into this [aquarium.]”


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