Arts East River Waterfront is a series of collaborations in the Lower East Side, connecting residents, artists, and other art-lovers to create and enjoy art and design installations, performances, and participatory activities along the East River Waterfront. This multi-faceted initiative expands the range of voices participating in the development of the Lower East Side Waterfront, to imagine and affect the future of Piers 42 and 35.

In 2013, we launched Paths to Pier 42 in partnership with the Lower East Side Waterfront Alliance, State Senator Daniel Squadron’s office, and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to activate Pier 42 as a temporary park with art & design projects. LMCC commissioned five artists to work in collaboration with local residents and community organizations to create community-responsive projects for the site throughout the summer months, creating a unique place where people want to go and linger — a visible and familiar gathering place that is a cultural, educational, and recreational amenity for all.

Since then, we have continued to commission new artists and designers to create work specifically for Pier 42 each year. For complete information on commissioned artists and projects, visit: 

Paths to Pier 42 is a project of Good Old Lower East Side, Hester Street Collaborative, Lower East Side Ecology Center, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, in close partnership with the Lower East Side Waterfront Alliance, NY State Senator Daniel Squadron, and the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation

Pier 42 was built on the East River waterfront in 1967 as a newsprint terminal, later importing bananas for an affiliate of Dole. It was the last operating cargo pier in Manhattan, closing in 1987. Since then, the pier has been unused and inaccessible to residents nearby. Between 2008-2009 the Lower East Side Waterfront Alliance engaged community members in the Lower East Side and Chinatown in order to develop a community vision for the East River waterfront and Pier 42, creating an alternate proposal to the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC)’s plan for redevelopment.

In the summer of 2013, following devastation caused by Super Storm Sandy, Pier 42 opened as a new park space. Paths to Pier 42 brings neighborhood residents, artists, designers and community organizations together to activate this park space on the Lower East Side Waterfront with collaborative installations and public events. The project builds on neighborhood advocacy to create more accessible green, open space on the waterfront, by increasing access and creating public uses of Pier 42 while it awaits permanent transformation over the next several years.

If you’re an art-lover, or looking for something to do on a sunny afternoon this summer, plan to join us on Pier 42. There will be art, design and ecology projects, workshops, family activities, picnics, and performances for you to experience and enjoy.

Pier 42 is a great place to spend a morning or afternoon with friends, family, or a book. You’re welcome there anytime between May and November, dawn to dusk.

Share the experience of Pier 42 by bringing someone new with you the next time you visit the Pier, or post photos on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (#PathsToPier42)