Why is this building significant?
Pier A is the last remaining example of the piers that once lined New York City’s waterfront. It is an outstanding example of picturesque Victorian architecture and innovative engineering, with below-water-level sub-piers made of concrete arches and iron girders. Built as the command center for the Board of Dock Commissioners and the New York Police Department Harbor Unit, it was later used by the New York Fire Department as a fireboat station. Nicknamed “Liberty Gateway,” Pier A also served in its heyday as a celebratory point of entry to New York where significant visitors were met by City officials.
What did the New York Landmarks Conservancy do?
When Pier A was threatened with demolition by the Battery Park City Authority to make way for landfill, we came to the rescue. In 1975 we secured local landmark designation and got the 1886 fireboat station listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These actions made possible a federal grant, matched by funds from New York State, for the preparation of an historic structures report. Unused for years while plans were stalled by financial problems, this structure has now been redeveloped.