Eye on Tribeca's Waterfront: One Photographer's 40-Year View

Jim Wetteroth on a floating dock off the old Pier 25 in 2005. He and Cathy Drew founded the Downtown Boathouse on the former Pier 26 (shown in background) in 1987. Around the same time, Drew started the River Project on the pier in an abandoned shed. Photo: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

Oct. 06, 2023

Hudson River Park is now celebrating its 25th anniversary. In September 1998, on the old Pier 25 in Tribeca, Gov. George Pataki signed legislation that enabled the creation of a park along what was then four miles of largely abandoned and dilapidated piers and warehouses. (It would be another seven years before the state granted funding to the Tribeca section.) Today, Hudson River Park is the jewel of Manhattan’s West Side, enjoyed by millions and a living river laboratory for research and education. That renewal is nowhere more dramatic than at the park’s southern end in Tribeca where, even today, a new playground will soon open and a river study center is in design.

Video and photographs by Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

As a photojournalist and editor of the Trib, founded by my wife April Koral and me in 1994, I have covered the local park’s planning, development and programs for nearly 30 years. And having moved to an apartment overlooking the waterfront in 1979, I’ve watched and photographed that stretch of waterfront for even longer. 

As part of its anniversary observance, the Hudson River Park Trust, together with Friends of Hudson River Park, created online photo galleries that provide fascinating visual histories of the waterfront’s past. Having dug through my photo archives for one of the galleries (and discovering long-forgotten images) I have compiled many of those pictures and others into the video above. It does not begin to tell the story of the park’s evolving local landscape, or the people who made it happen. It is, instead, a brief look at what has drawn my eye to the Tribeca waterfront for more than 40 years.