Clinton Cove of Hudson River Park. Image via Hudson River Park

It’s hard to believe that Hudson River Park – the longest waterfront park in the United States (and the second-largest in Manhattan after Central Park) – used to be full of decaying piers and parking lots. Today, it’s decorated with sports fields, expansive lawns and various walking paths, making it one of the most popular green spaces in the city. And while its past might not sound all that glorious, Hudson River Park definitely has some interesting secrets to share – many of which remain unknown to most New Yorkers:

10. Hudson River Park Arose From the Failed West Side Highway Development

hudson-river-park-nyc-untapped-citiesImage via Hudson River Park

In 1985, plans for an underground highway, known as the West Side Highway (Westway), were abandoned due to rising political and environmental concerns from community groups. At the time, the project included provisions for large swaths of park and development land to be built on top of the highway, which would have included six lanes. With the failure of the Westway project, however, Hudson River Park eventually emerged as part of a replacement plan in 1992. City officials hoped it would help resurrect Manhattan’s decaying waterfront, which had largely fell out of use with the decline of shipping.

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