By Tara Kyle
MUNICIPAL DISTRICT — Two longtime Chelsea activists received proclamations from the City Council Thursday in recognition of their nearly 30-year battle to develop the Chelsea waterfront section of Hudson River Park.
Robert Trentlyon, who is a Community Board 4 member, former newspaper publisher and founder of the Chelsea Reform Democratic Club, founded the Chelsea Waterside Park Association in the early 1980s. Doris Corrigan joined him in the fight in the earliest days.
“It was a pretty rough area,” said Corrigan, who has held several leadership positions with the Chelsea Reform Democratic Club.
When she and Trentlyon heard about efforts to develop the Hudson River Park, which now stretches from 59th Street to Battery Park, Corrigan said they wanted to make sure Chelsea had something special designed for its own community.
Today, the nine-acre Chelsea Cove includes a skate park, geese-filled lawn and a carousel featuring a harbor seal, Atlantic sturgeon and white unicorn. The Cove opened in May.
Trentlyon's and Corrigan’s efforts succeeded in “breaking down the wall that kept Chelsea removed from its waterfront,” according to the proclamation, which offers the city’s “enduring gratitude.”
“I feel wonderful, it’s been a great journey. The real joy is seeing the park,” said Trentlyon, whose current causes include the campaign to protect the city from potentially catastrophic storm surges.
While presenting the proclamations to Robert Trentlyon and Doris Corrigan, Speaker Christine Quinn called the duo “living legends of the West side.”
Trentlyon, speaking before the Council, said he never doubted that park would become a reality, though, “I certainly was off in estimating how many years it would take.”