Built from 1884 to 1886, Pier A at the southern tip of West Street in Battery Park served as New York City Department of Docks and the home to the Harbor Police. The Pier was also used by the New York City Fire Department as a fireboat station from 1960 to 1992. But since 1992, the facility was vacated and ultimately fell into disrepair. The newly renovated $40 million project has a spectacular view of the New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The public can stroll out to the end of the pier from either side of the building. Here’s a look inside and outside the new Pier A.
The Pier was expanded in 1900 and again in 1919. A ship’s clock donated by the founder of U.S. Steel Corporation was also installed in the Pier’s tower as a memorial to the servicemen who died during World Word I. It is said that the clock is the first World War I memorial erected in the United States. The Pier was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and was designated a New York City Landmark in 1977.
Designed by sculptor Marisol Escobar, the American Merchant Mariners’ Memorial sits on a breakwater just south of Pier A. The bronze depicts four merchant seamen on their sinking vessel, one of them in the water, after an attack by a u-boat during World War II.
The building itself has an exciting new life thanks to the Poulakakos family, whose culinary track record includes Financier Patisserie and Harry’s Italian. Keeping the integrity of the original structure, the expansive first floor open space includes an oyster bar, casual dining and a lengthy bar boasting craft beer on tap. The second floor is expected to have a four full-service dining rooms, each with their own historic name–Liberty, State, Patrol and Grace–and a fireplace and outdoor seating overlooking the harbor, while the third floor will be available for private parties. A visitors center and coffee bar are also in the works. A stairway to the pier’s clock tower will become a refrigerated wine tower.
Pier A is easy to reach by most major subway line, closest by the #4/#5 to Bowling Green.
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