The Real Deal New York

Pier 55 boss: “Don’t call it ‘Diller Island'”

Hudson River Part Trust CEO Madelyn Wils defends the project

September 08, 2015 09:02AM

Pier55 (1) copy

A rendering of Pier 55 (credit: Heatherwick studio) (inset: Madelyn Wils)

Madelyn Wils went to all the trouble of capturing a $140 million dollar donation for Pier55 in Hudson River Park, and now she wants everyone to stop mocking it, please.

The Hudson River Park Trust CEO and president defended the project in an op-ed in Crain’s as serious and responsible, arguing that names like “Diller Island” and “Barry Diller on the Hudson” are inappropriate.

“Such terms trivialize the gift and misrepresent the project,” she wrote. “Far from a billionaire’s do-what-I-please, public-be-damned fantasy island, Pier 55 is the culmination of a deliberate, collaborative planning process.”

The gift in question came from media mogul Barry Diller, head of IAC/InterActiveCorp and Expedia Inc. and the former chairman of Paramout Pictures and Fox, along with his wife, designer Diane Von Fürstenberg.

Wils, who manages the public entity in charge of the park, which houses Pier 55, wrote that the project went through a long, detailed government planning process, taking public needs into account. She wrote that the public performance space will be attractive, secure from storms and accessible to the handicapped. [Crain’s]Ariel Stulberg