Just like that, Pier 55, a $250 million floating park (cultural island? entertainment center? performing arts pier?) to be built over a dilapidated pier on the Hudson River, is no more.
Impact Philanthropy is a complex topic, and others found these selections from the Impact Giving archive from Giving Compass to be good resources.
A lot of people are very upset about its demise, angry at an opposition group that hit the project with costly litigation. But ultimately, it was main backer Barry Diller who pulled the plug, withdrawing his and Diane von Furstenberg’s funding for the project. The costs and controversy had become too much, he said.
Especially at a time when it seems the city-dwelling public has become more skeptical of deluxe donor-driven projects, both philanthropists and cities can take away some lessons from Diller Island’s collapse about navigating public-private partnerships for public spaces. Namely, a billionaire donor with such control over a high-profile parks project, without a great enough level of public participation, is a recipe for trouble. And when trouble comes, that donor can walk away…
Read the full article by Tate Williams on Inside Philanthropy
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