City Pier A
Pier A Harbor House
|Location||Battery Place at the Hudson River
Manhattan, New York City
|Architect||George Sears Greene Jr. (engineer)|
|NRHP reference #||75001203|
|Added to NRHP||June 27, 1975|
|Designated NYCL||July 12, 1977|
Pier A Harbor House is a municipal pier in the Hudson River at Battery Park near the southern end of Manhattan in New York City. Although did not play any role as a major disembarkation point, it has also been nicknamed in recent years as "Liberty Gateway". Pier A is the last surviving historic pier in the city.
Pier A was built from 1884 to 1886 to serve as the headquarters of the New York City Board of Dock Commissioners (later known as the Department of Docks); it also served as a home for the Harbor Police. The engineer in charge of construction and design was George Sears Greene Jr. (1837-1922), who had served as the engineer-in-chief of the New York City Board of Docks from July 1875 to 1898. He was the son of the civil engineer and Union general George S. Greene (1801-1899). The building's roof, made of tin, was painted green to resemble the colour of oxidized 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. The clock is a ship's clock and was donated by Daniel G. Reid, founder of United States Steel Corporation. 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. It is said to be the first World War I memorial erected in the United States.
The New York City Fire Department used the pier from 1960 to 1992 as a fireboat station. 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.
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.
A restoration of the pier commenced in 2009. Pier A's restaurant and bar, "Pier A Harbor House", opened to the public in November 2014.
In popular culture
- List of New York City Landmarks
- National Register of Historic Places listings in New York County, New York
- National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- 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.7
- "Pier A Designation Report" New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission
- Wolfe, Gerald R. New York, 15 walking tours: an architectural guide to the metropolis. New York, McGraw-Hill Professional, 2003
- Hall, Carl R. A biographical dictionary of people in engineering: from the earliest records until 2000. West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Press, 2008
- Wind ship's clock today, New York Times (January 25, 1919)
- Canon, Laura. "A Survey of New York City World War I Monuments"
- "MARINE 1 F.D.N.Y." marine1fdny.com. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- American Merchant Mariners’ Memorial, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation
- McGeehan, Patrick. "121-Year-Old Pier Seen as Portal to 'Harbor District'" New York Times (August 7, 2007). Accessed=2009-01-31
- "Pier A is now open and its gorgeous'" Tribeca Citizen (November 15, 2014). Accessed=2015-03-05
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pier A Harbor House.|
- Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) No. NY-84, "Pier A Harbor House, Battery Place at Hudson River, New York, New York County, NY", 10 photos, 4 data pages, 1 photo caption page
- Daytonian in Manhattan: The 1886 Department of Docks' Headquarters - Pier A