Battery Maritime Building

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Municipal Ferry Pier
Battery Maritime Building.jpg
Battery Maritime Building is located in New York
Battery Maritime Building
Battery Maritime Building is located in the United States
Battery Maritime Building
Location10 South St., New York City
Coordinates40°42′3″N 74°0′43″W / 40.70083°N 74.01194°W / 40.70083; -74.01194Coordinates: 40°42′3″N 74°0′43″W / 40.70083°N 74.01194°W / 40.70083; -74.01194
Arealess than one acre
Built1909 (1909)
ArchitectWalker & Morris; Snare, Frederick
Architectural styleBeaux Arts
NRHP reference #76001246[1]
NYCL #243
Significant dates
Added to NRHPDecember 12, 1976
Designated NYCLNovember 14, 1978

The Battery Maritime Building is a ferry terminal at 11 South Street at the corner of South and Whitehall Streets near South Ferry at the tip of Manhattan Island in New York City. It is used for excursion trips and, since 1956, as the ferry terminal to Governors Island.[2] The Beaux-Arts building was built from 1906 to 1909 as the Municipal Ferry Pier.[3] It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.[1]


Whitehall Street Ferry Terminal, 11 South Street, in the 1970s

Designed by the firm Walker and Morris,[3][4] it used a variety of architectural metals, including cast iron, rolled steel, and stamped zinc and copper, and the vaults under the porch roof utilize Guastavino tiles.[3] The building was originally constructed with a wide central stairway to large upper level waiting room. The upper level had a direct connection to the elevated train station that served it, the Staten Island Ferry Whitehall Terminal, and Lower Manhattan. The terminal had three slips: 5, 6, and 7, its lower level serving as a vehicular loading area for wagons and motor vehicles. The Staten Island Ferry Terminal was constructed at the same time nearby and appeared as a two slip twin before being drastically rebuilt in 1956[5]. In 1991 The Staten Island Ferry terminal at Whitehall Street was gutted by fire, being replaced first with an interim structure and then the current 2005 building.


The structure was built from 1906 to 1909 and was used by ferries traveling to 39th Street in Brooklyn.[3][4] The Brooklyn ferry service shut down on March 15, 1938, and the 140,000-square-foot (13,000 m2) building was used by various city agencies. In subsequent years, its original multi-colored appearance was replaced by a paint color intended to emulate the copper patina of the Statue of Liberty.

View of the ferry slips at Battery Maritime Building

In 1956, the U.S. Army began use of the terminal to provide service to an Army post, Fort Jay on Governors Island. Replacing smaller steam-power ferries with two larger new diesel-electric boats, the Army required larger ferry slips and docks, moving their ferry operation from an open ferry slip located at the Barge Office, west of the Staten Island Ferry Terminal to the Battery Maritime Building. When the United States Coast Guard took over Governors Island from the Army in 1966, they continued to use the terminal to provide vehicle and passenger service to the island for its 3,000 residents and 2,000 daily commuters until its departure in 1996.

Between 2001 and 2005, in a $36 million renovation, the exterior of the building and its deteriorating wooden piers were restored and its exterior repainted in its original multiple color scheme by Jan Hird Pokorny Architects.[4]

Current usage[edit]

During the summer season, public ferry service to Governors Island continues from the Battery Maritime Building, operated by the Trust for Governors Island, an agency for the City of New York, since 2003. Service operates from May to October of each year.[6]

In 2009, Dermot Construction won the bid to convert the building into a hotel. After numerous delays, including Hurricane Sandy, the project received a new round of funding in 2018 and a group including Cipriani S.A. hope to open it as soon as 2020.[7]


See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
  2. ^ "Architecture" on the Battery Maritime Building website
  3. ^ a b c d White, Norval & Willensky, Elliot (2000), AIA Guide to New York City (4th ed.), New York: Three Rivers Press, ISBN 978-0-8129-3107-5, p.26
  4. ^ a b c New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission; Dolkart, Andrew S.; Postal, Matthew A. (2009), Postal, Matthew A. (ed.), Guide to New York City Landmarks (4th ed.), New York: John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 978-0-470-28963-1, p.8-9
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Governors Island Ferry Service". New York City's Historic Battery Maritime Building. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
  7. ^ Rosenberg, Zoe (2018-08-16). "Stymied Battery Maritime Building redevelopment gets needed financial boost". Curbed. Retrieved 27 December 2018.

External links[edit]