View of Pier 55 in the context of the west side.

The Piers in New York City in 1976

January 2015

a Super 8 film by Nelson Sullivan
When artist Gordon Matta-Clark cut gaping holes in New York’s decrepit Pier 52 to let-in the light, it symbolised the end of the functional life of New York City’s port industry. Once there were hundreds of functioning piers, now there are only a comparative handful. Since that day in 1975, most of them have been doing other things, like playing host to art fairs and skating rinks, or just falling apart – the occasional cruise ship notwithstanding. The spectacle of a crowded New York harbour, its berths filled by ocean liners and hulking commercial vessels, seems as distant as a Dutch painting. But in a heated real estate market (what bubble?), in a city where commercial developers have for decades shaped city planning, decrepitude spells opportunity, and the New York shoreline is among the most underused of those in any major world city. **Read all in DAMnº48**