City Pier A

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City Pier A
Manhattan - Pier A from the harbor 01 (9440395329) crop.jpg
(2013)
City Pier A is located in New York City
City Pier A
Location Battery Place at the Hudson River
Manhattan, New York City
Coordinates: 40°42′15″N 74°1′6″W / 40.70417°N 74.01833°W / 40.70417; -74.01833
Built 1884-86[2]
Architect George Sears Greene Jr. (engineer)[2]
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 75001203[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP June 27, 1975
Designated NYCL July 12, 1977

City Pier A is a municipal pier in the Hudson River at Battery Park near the southern end of Manhattan in New York City. It has also been named Liberty Gateway.[3] It is the last surviving historic pier in the city.[2]

The Pier was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975,[1] and was designated a New York City landmark in 1977.[2]

History[edit]

Pier A was built from 1884 to 1886 to serve the New York City Department of Docks and Harbor Police.[2] The engineer in charge of construction and design was George Sears Greene Jr. (1837-1922), the son of the civil engineer and Union general George S. Greene (1801-1899).[3][4] The design mirrored the Statue of Liberty which could be viewed from a similar but shorter tower. The roof was tin, painted green to resemble copper. In renovation by the Battery Park City Authority this roof was discarded, and replaced with copper.

The pier was expanded in 1900 and again in 1919 with a clock installed in the pier's tower as a memorial to 116,000 US servicemen who died during World War I.[3] The clock is a ship's clock and was donated by Daniel G. Reid, founder of United States Steel Corporation.[5] The clock was unveiled at noon on January 25, 1919 by Rear Admiral Josiah S. McKean, with speeches made by Mayor John Francis Hylan and Docks Commissioner George Murray Hulbert.[5] It is said to be the first World War I memorial erected in the United States.[6]

The New York City Fire Department used the pier from 1960 to 1992 as a fireboat station.[7] In 1991, the American Merchant Mariners' Memorial was installed on a rebuilt stone breakwater just south of Pier A, connected to it by a dock. Designed by the sculptor Marisol Escobar, the memorial depicts four merchant seamen with their sinking vessel after it had been attacked by a U-boat during World War II. One of the seamen is in the water, and is covered by the sea with each high tide.[8]

From 1992 onward, the pier was vacant and fell into disrepair. Several proposals for redevelopment fell through; for instance, in 2007, Daniel L. Doctoroff, deputy mayor for economic development, proposed to use the pier building for the ferry terminal to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and other harbor destinations.[9]

A restoration of the pier finally commenced in 2009. Several restaurants are planned for the revamped space, expected to reopen in mid-2014.[10][11]

In popular culture[edit]

The pier was briefly featured in the 1965 thriller Mirage with Gregory Peck and Diane Baker.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15. 
  2. ^ a b c d e New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission; Postal, Matthew A. (ed. and text); Dolkart, Andrew S. (text). (2009) Guide to New York City Landmarks (4th ed.) New York:John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-28963-1, p.7
  3. ^ a b c Wolfe, Gerald R. New York, 15 walking tours: an architectural guide to the metropolis. New York, McGraw-Hill Professional, 2003
  4. ^ Hall, Carl R. A biographical dictionary of people in engineering: from the earliest records until 2000. West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Press, 2008
  5. ^ a b Wind ship's clock today, New York Times (January 25, 1919)
  6. ^ Canon, Laura. "A Survey of New York City World War I Monuments"
  7. ^ "Marine 1 FDNY"
  8. ^ American Merchant Mariners’ Memorial, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation
  9. ^ McGeehan, Patrick. "121-Year-Old Pier Seen as Portal to 'Harbor District'" New York Times (August 7, 2007). Accessed=2009-01-31
  10. ^ "Pier A" on the Battery Park City website
  11. ^ Chu, Sanna. "Revamped Pier A set to open in 2014" The Real Deal (May 1, 2013)

Further reading

External links[edit]