Chelsea Piers is a series of historic piers on the West Side of Manhattan in New York City that was a passenger ship terminal in the early 1900s that was used by the RMS Lusitania and was the destination of the Titanic.
Historically, the term Chelsea Piers referred to the luxury liner berths on Manhattan's west side from 1910 to the 1930s.
Most of the major trans-Atlantic liners of the day docked at the piers and they played pivotal roles in the RMS Titanic and RMS Lusitania disasters.
With luxury liners such as the Titanic becoming bigger and bigger, New York City was looking for a new luxury liner dock in the early 1900s. The Army, which controlled the location and size of piers, refused to let any piers extend beyond the existing pierhead line of the North River (the navigation name for the Hudson River south of 30th Street). Ship lines were reluctant to build north of 23rd Street because infrastructure was already in place, including the High Line Rail line and a train station near the river at 23rd Street.
New York City solved the problem in an unusual way — it actually took away a block of land that was once part of Manhattan.
The land was the 1837 landfill that extended Manhattan to 13th Avenue. The controversial decision included condemning many businesses. The city was unable to condemn the West Washington Street Market and was left to remain landfill. The market ultimately closed and the dock was converted to a sanitation facility that was used to load garbage barges headed for the Fresh Kills Landfill. The only section of 13th Avenue that remains is now a parking lot for sanitation trucks. The landfill is now called the Gansevoort Peninsula.
The piers are currently used by the Chelsea Piers Sports & Entertainment Complex. The new complex includes film and television production facilities, including those for CBS College Sports Network and Food Network, a health club, a day spa, the city's largest training center for gymnastics, two basketball courts, playing fields for indoor lacrosse and soccer, batting cages, a rock climbing wall and dance studios. In addition there is an AMF Bowling center, a golf club with multi-story driving range, and two full sized ice rinks for skating. It is located in the Chelsea neighborhood, on the northern edge of Greenwich Village and the Meatpacking District.