Whitehall Ferry Terminal

New York, NY

Project Details

Completed 2005
150,000 sf

Schwartz Architects
TAMS Consulting

NYC Economic Development Corporation

Image © Schwartz Architects

Whitehall Ferry Terminal replaces the fire damaged Manhattan terminal for the Staten Island Ferry, located adjacent to Battery Park. The terminal is an intermodal transportation hub for residents of Staten Island and Manhattan. It is approximately 150,000 sf and contains offices for the NYC Department of Transportation as well as maintenance facilities, a waterfront viewing deck and the main waiting room. The new building features a large steel-framed, vaulted waiting room, glass curtain wall façade, and a new subway entrance. The project includes reuse of significant marine engineering features such as bulkhead wall, relieving platform, gallows and machinery for ferry boarding ramps, piles and grade beams. The terminal is located over two of Manhattan’s oldest subway tunnels, adjacent to a third subway tunnel and directly over the Battery Park Underpass connecting the FDR Drive to the West Side Highway.

Finding unoccupied space on which to support the building proved difficult, due to the numerous tunnels, utilities and other underground obstructions. This necessitated the design of numerous long-span transfer girders. The historic tunnels were unable to safely support any additional lateral loads. Steel encased sleeved caissons were located where possible and connected with a network of cast-in-place grade beams. The caissons provide a 2” annulus of air allowing the caisson to move laterally without transferring loads to the surrounding soil and, ultimately, the existing historic tunnels. Because the building had to remain a viable ferry terminal 24/7, demolition of the existing terminal and construction of the new terminal had to proceed in phases, such that two of the three existing slips remained in full service at all times.

2005 Building of America Plaque of Honor
2006 ACEC NY Engineering Excellence Diamond Award

Categories: Public Buildings, Renovation