It’s a floating island, a pier, and a park — but it’s a miracle more than anything else.
Little Island, the brand-new public playground off West 14th Street in the Hudson River, rises out of the water 200 feet from noisy Eleventh Avenue, but a world removed. It’s the biggest, and most creative, park opening since the High Line. The Big Apple has never seen anything like it.
When it opens Friday morning at 6 a.m., New Yorkers will finally get to explore the undulating, “floating” green space dreamed up, and mostly paid for, by the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation, headed by IAC chairman and former Hollywood mogul Barry Diller.
New Yorkers would welcome the foundation’s no-strings, $235 million contribution to the park’s $265 million creation any time, but more so today. From its conception to its opening, Little Island boldly bridges the pre- and hopefully post-pandemic eras. (The city put in an additional $17 million, and the Hudson River Park Trust $4 million more).
Remarkably, Diller stood by his commitment to fund nearly the whole project even when it ended up costing more than twice the original construction estimates of $130 million.