Municipal Ferry Pier
NYC Landmark #LP-0547
|Location||10 South St., New York City|
|Area||less than one acre|
|Architect||Walker & Morris; Snare, Frederick|
|Architectural style||Beaux Arts|
|NRHP reference #||76001246|
|Added to NRHP||December 12, 1976|
|Designated NYCL||November 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. The Beaux-Arts building was built from 1906 to 1909 as the Municipal Ferry Pier. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
Designed by the firm Walker and Morris, 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. It is the only Exposition Universelle-style ferry building still operating in Manhattan.:1
Approaching from the water side, the building contains three ferry piers with steel arches. The arches, in turn, are supported by four pilasters with ornate capitals. The entrances to each of the piers can be closed-off by elaborate swinging gates. The steelwork on the remainder of the building contains decorative motifs such as paneled lattice work, raised moldings, and elaborate cross bracings. The building contains a penthouse with five bays of sash windows between six pairs of columns, and a landward-facing balcony with an elaborate railing.:1
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 Whitehall Terminal was constructed at the same time nearby and appeared as a two slip twin before being drastically rebuilt in 1956. In 1991 the Whitehall Terminal was gutted by fire. It was replaced first with an interim structure and then the current 2005 building.
The structure was built from 1906 to 1909, replacing an earlier building on the site that had operated since 1887.:2 Both the new building and its predecessor was used by ferries traveling to 39th Street in what is now the neighborhood of Sunset Park in Brooklyn, and as such, was named the Municipal Ferry Piers to South Brooklyn.:1 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, including the Department of Marine and Aviation beginning in 1959.:2 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.
In 1956, the U.S. Army began using the terminal to provide service to Fort Jay, an Army post 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.
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.
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. hopes to open it as soon as 2020.
- Battery Park City Ferry Terminal
- South Ferry
- West Midtown Ferry Terminal
- Paulus Hook Ferry Terminal
- Weehawken Port Imperial
- Fulton Ferry, Brooklyn
- Playing the Building
- List of New York City Landmarks
- National Register of Historic Places listings in New York County, New York
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
- "Architecture" on the Battery Maritime Building website
- 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
- 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
- "Whitehall Ferry Terminal, 11 South Street" (PDF). New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. May 25, 1967. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
- McFadden, Robert D. (September 9, 1991). "BIG FIRE DESTROYS TERMINAL OF FERRY TO STATEN ISLAND". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
- Ramirez, Anthony (February 9, 2005). "Metro Briefing | New York: Manhattan: Rebuilt Ferry Terminal Opens". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
- "First Army Gets Two Ferryboats; But Cannot Use Them Until the Slip Is Renovated at Governors Island". The New York Times. October 20, 1956. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 1, 2019.
- Johnston, Richard J.h. (January 1, 1966). "A 15-Gun Salute Signals the Army's Departure From Governors Island". The New York Times. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
- Kennedy, Randy (October 18, 1995). "On an Oasis in New York Harbor, a Bittersweet Salute". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
- "Governors Island Ferry Service". New York City's Historic Battery Maritime Building. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
- Rosenberg, Zoe (August 16, 2018). "Stymied Battery Maritime Building redevelopment gets needed financial boost". Curbed. Retrieved December 27, 2018.
- "Battery Maritime Building's hotel-restaurant conversion is back on track". 6sqft. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
- Media related to Battery Maritime Building at Wikimedia Commons
- Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) No. NY-90, "Whitehall Street Ferry Terminal, 11 South Street, New York, New York County, NY", 10 photos, 3 data pages, 1 photo caption page