Featured Project: Battery Park City Pier A

After a long and storied life, Pier A, located at the southwest tip of Manhattan between Battery Park City and historic Battery Park, is set to embark on a new use as an entertainment space. LiRo provided construction management services for the renovation of the site.

Pier A was built in 1886 to house the New York City Department of Docks and Harbor Police, and is the oldest surviving operational pier in the city. Its location offered an ideal vantage point from which to oversee traffic in New York Harbor. The original tin roof was painted green to replicate weathered copper, mirroring the skin of the Statue of Liberty, which can be viewed from the site. The building was expanded in 1900, and again in 1919, with the installation of a clock tower erected as a memorial to US servicemen who died during World War I.

After serving for decades as a central operations center regulating harbor activity, the pier began a new phase when, in 1960, the FDNY Marine 1 fireboat John D. McKean, along with its associated staff, was relocated to there from Pier 1. For the next three decades, Pier A became the most iconic fireboat station in the nation. The pier was designated a New York City landmark and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in the late 1970s. Marine 1 was relocated in 1992, leaving Pier A open for redevelopment. However, the pier stood vacant for almost 20 years, until funding and development options were finalized.

Pier A consists of a three-story head house structure facing Battery Park and a two-story pier-shed structure facing the water. The overall plan dimensions of the pier are approximately 45 ft wide by 325 ft long, and the structure encloses approximately 30,000 sf. The original structure is composed of eight masonry sub-pier concrete and granite foundations, supporting a composite pier deck. The deck was constructed using riveted steel girders encased in concrete jack arches. The promenade is composed of a cast-in-place concrete deck supported by timber stringers.

The Battery Park City Authority, in coordination with the New York City Economic Development Corporation, developed Pier A with the intent of leasing the facility to restaurant and special event tenants. Due to the extended period of vacancy, the entire structure both above and below water was in severely deteriorated condition when renovations began. An initial phase of work addressed non-structural interior demolition. LiRo has been involved in the project since the start of Phase II work, which included stabilization and restoration of the pier deck, and structural reinforcement of the pier-shed.

Phase III core and shell restoration focused attention on the complete restoration of the building. The work included abatement of hazardous materials, exterior and interior repairs, new floors, and elevator and staircase, and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. Restoration of historic elements, including wood trim, doors, hardware, and exterior pediments, pilaster moldings and siding was performed. All work was performed with the intent of preserving the character of the building while enabling the attraction and accommodation of modern tenants.

A major challenge during construction was presented by Superstorm Sandy, which caused extensive flooding of the main level. Completed walls and wiring had to be replaced, and some material selections were changed to include more water-impervious alternates.

This project is a candidate for LEED Silver certification.

Services Provided

Construction Management

Key Facts

Battery Park, NY

Battery Park City Authority

Design Team
H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture LLC
Weidlinger Associates

2014 ENR New York Best Project, Renovation/ Restoration
2014 CMAA Metro NY/NJ Chapter Project of the Year Award Winner
2014 ENR National Best of the Best, Renovation/ Restoration