By Josh Williams
BATTERY PARK CITY — A 19th century pier at the southern tip of Manhattan is being carefully restored so that the Battery Park City Authority can rent it out in the spring of 2011.
The $30 million repair of Pier A, which is near the intersection of West Street and Battery Place, includes an exterior cosmetic renovation as well as the preservation of several of the pier’s interior features, including the original 1886 wooden beams and eight of the original pier footings.
The pier’s gem, a four-story clock tower built in 1918 as the first World War I memorial in America, is also being preserved.
During the BPCA monthly meeting, committee members were told that the outer shell and core renovation of the 38,000 square foot pier is approximately 14 months from completion.
“It’s been great to see the building being rebuilt from such deterioration,” said Architect Iva Zortic of H3 Hardy Architecture, who is working on the renovation. “When we started, every time we went into the building we would find something new.”
The last tenant of Pier A was the FDNY Harbor Unit, which left in the 1980s. The Commissioner’s former office still has wall-to-wall wood paneling that hints at the pier’s original grandeur.
The BPCA is currently searching for tenants to rent the pier, which was landmarked in 1977.
“We are looking for one tenant to rent the entire pier. If they would like, that tenant is open to subletting,” said Gwen Andeson the Director of Strategic Planning for the BPCA.
Because only the outer shell is landmarked — not the interior — the future tenant will have flexibility in the use of space.
“People get involved with historical buildings for reasons.” Anderson said from the on-site construction trailer where she sat amidst piles of historical architecture designs.
“Historical buildings offer other opportunities.”