It might be best that Pier 54 is in disrepair. Rusted, abandoned and slowly disintegrating into the water, it's hard to ignore the metaphors implied by the state of the pier, whose primary claim to history was a non-event. 100 years ago, Pier 54 was the intended destination of the Titanic, but of course that destiny was never fulfilled. Instead, the Titanic ended up cracked and broken on the seafloor – the same place to which Pier 54 is slowly making its way.
Now part of Hudson River Park, a number of plans to restore the pier have been bandied about, but none so far successful. Instead, it remains a blank, empty strip of metal and concrete stretching out into the Hudson River, remarkable mostly for its emptiness. The only obvious hint of its historical significance is the rusted arch that used to form the entrance, with the original shipyard lettering barely readable – "Cunard White Star" – left untouched and eroding out of either respect or neglect, probably both.
Pier 54 did realize part of its duty for the Titanic, as crowds of people gathered in the street in the wake of the disaster to watch it receive 700 surviving Titanic passengers, recovered by the RMS Carpathia. The rescue mission's landfall at Pier 54 was the most notable and attention-garnering event related to the Titanic other than the sinking of the ship itself.
Since then, fascination with the tragedy of the Titanic has only grown, but interest in Pier 54 and its spectral place in history have fallen by the wayside. Call it symbolic or call it expected, the pier now sits just as it did for the Titanic – empty, waiting for a ship that may never come in.