11 July 2007

Viva La Battery Maritime Building

The two-earth toned green Battery Maritime Building, originally built in 1909, is the city's sole remaining ferry terminal built in elaborate Beaux Arts style. Once serving the South Ferry to Brooklyn, it is now only in partial use by the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation and Coast Guard, who use Slip 7 to ferry back and forth between Governors Island.

A $58 million restoration began in 2001. The cast-iron façade was being held together by largely by layers of drab green paint over crusts of rust, which gave the impression that the entire building was made of copper-turned-patina. When crews began analysis on the base layer, though, they uncovered the original color scheme, along with vibrant terra-cotta tiles and moldings. As a result, the façade has been repainted in its original color pattern, with two shades of earth-toned green, along with blue and red stucco and tiles and a restored copper mansard roof.

And now at long last, plans for the rejuvenation of the long-crumbling-but-still- totally-gorgeous Battery Maritime Building have become clear. More than a year after requests for development proposals went out—and while restoration of the facade has finished—comes the news that the Dermot Company and the Poulakakos Family will develop the project.

What's on tap? A $110 million makeover that'll bring a gourmet food market to the building's waiting room, in the spirit of San Francisco's genius Ferry Building makeover. Terminal offices, meantime, will be converted to a 135-room boutique hotel, and there's going to be a rooftop restaurant, too.

Dope new life for dope ass old buildin' from another time.

pic by WallyG's Flicker

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