Little Island


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4 June 2021

On How Little Island Has Become a Controversial Topic

A media mogul and his fashion designer wife gifted the city of New York a 260 million dollar park floating on the Hudson River. How the city received the gift says a lot about the current New York State of mind.

Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Diller are behind Little Island, the 2.4-acre public park designed by Thomas Heatherwick on the site of the formerly derelict Pier 55.

With an amphitheater, observation sites, eating area and a landscape design that incorporates 270 varieties of grasses, perennials, vines and bulbs, the place is described as charming, even by its detractors.

In The Wall Street Journal article “How Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg Built NYC’s Little Island” you learn that the family foundation gave $260 million to build Little Island and has committed another $120 million over the next 10 years for maintenance. You also learn about the politics of building a public park, and some difficulties they faced building it.

In the Washington Post “Seeing the wrong kind of green In New York City’s Little Island” you hear a different opinion, one that builds on the idea of rampant inequality and sees the gift as a tax deduction and a showy form of philanthropy.

Whatever side you are on, enjoy the place and try to step out of this never ending cycle of debates.

Image credit: CHOONGKY via Shutterstock



Posted by Mirela Gluck at 08:13 AM
The City |

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