PA and NJ Transit agree to $125M in renovations
Tom Jennemann (Hoboken Reporter)
Reporter staff writer March 16, 2003
Under a thick layer of dust, dirt and disuse lies one of Hoboken's last hidden treasures - the Hoboken Ferry Terminal. With its high vaulting ceilings, tarnished copper façade and authentic turn-of-the-century Tiffany stained glass windows, the abandoned ferry terminal is only a shell of original incarnation; a bustling transportation focal point where 30,000 daily commuters hopped a ferry into Manhattan.
On Monday, the New York/New Jersey Port Authority's executive director, Joseph Seymour, and NJ Transit Executive Director George Warrington signed an agreement that will lead to the restoration of the historic Hoboken Terminal ferry slips and supporting infrastructure, at an expected cost of approximately $125 million.
According to officials from NJ Transit, the terminal and its ferry slips were originally built in 1907 by the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad. During the early part of the last century, ferry service was the primary form of transportation for people traveling to and from Manhattan. With the construction of the George Washington Bridge and Lincoln and Holland tunnels, the use of ferries began to decline; in 1967, the Hoboken Terminal slips were closed. In 1989, New York Waterway resumed ferry service from Hoboken Terminal utilizing a temporary ferry facility.
The renovations are scheduled to include reconstructing a portion of the building's substructure and superstructure, constructing a ferry service ticket office, restoring the building's roof and Tiffany skylights, refurbishing the terminal's old clock tower, restoring the copper fascia on the exterior of the building and waterproofing, insulating the exterior walls near the ferry slips, restoring the interior finishes of the ferry terminal area, and performing utility and marine work to support the new ferry operation.
There would be a sizable retail component in the renovated space, according to Mayor David Roberts. He said that he would like to see a permanent farmers' market, restaurants, and dozens of new retail stores. "This is an incredible moment in our city's history," said Roberts Wednesday, "a renaissance of sorts for Hoboken."
He added that having a renovated ferry terminal with a retail component will inevitably attract positive attention. "When it's finished, Hoboken will further cement itself as one of the largest and best transportation hubs in the entire region," he said.
As part of its agreement with NJ Transit, the Port Authority will provide up to $8 million to pay for the design work for the restoration of six ferry slips in the terminal, as well as supporting infrastructure required to reactivate ferry service. The preliminary design work is ongoing and is scheduled to be completed in June 2003.
The Port Authority will provide an additional $44 million from its capital program as the initial financing for the project, and the Federal Transit Administration will contribute an additional $27 million, which will permit initial phases to begin while additional funds are secured.
The agreement also calls for the two agencies to finalize a long-term lease for the Port Authority's use of the Hoboken Terminal ferry slips, which are owned by NJ Transit.
There are already ferries at the terminal, which are run by the Weehawken-based NY Waterway company, but they use temporary floating docks.
Ferries now more important
With PATH service disrupted to lower Manhattan, regional dependence on ferry travel has increased dramatically. Before 9/11, according to NY Waterway officials, only about 36,000 daily trips were taken on area ferries. That number has now almost doubled to 70,000 trips per day.
"The PATH system has always been a critical cog in the region's transportation network," said Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Michael DeCotiis Monday. "When PATH service between New Jersey and Lower Manhattan was lost, the Port Authority moved quickly and decisively to provide immediate relief for thousands of people left with limited commuting options."
In a statement Monday, Gov. James McGreevey said that water travel is a vital component in the state's overall mass transit plans. "Interstate ferry service has been a lifeline for New Jersey commuters since September 11, 2001, providing them with a critical transportation option to get to and from Manhattan after PATH service to Lower Manhattan was lost," said McGreevey in a statement Monday. "Today's agreement is critical to our ability to provide the infrastructure we need to meet the growing demand for ferry service. I strongly believe that ferry service is a key transportation option we need to relieve congestion on our highways, tunnels, bridges and public transportation systems."
Port Authority Chairman Jack G. Sinagra said Monday that the $125 million investment shows the Port Authority's commitment to ferry transportation. "The money earmarked by the Port Authority for Hoboken Terminal continues our substantial investments to help upgrade ferry infrastructure and fuel the resurgence of water transportation in the region," said Sinagra. "As a result of our collaboration with NJ Transit, we will provide employees and residents of New Jersey with a fast and convenient transportation option."
NJ Transit Executive Director Warrington said Monday that the improvements are just part of the agency's long term plans. "Restoration of the ferry slips at Hoboken Terminal is one of the state's long-range strategic plans to increase trans-Hudson capacity and enhance travel options while supporting the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan," said Warrington. "Thanks to the support of the Port Authority, thousands of NJ Transit rail, light rail and bus customers will be able to take advantage of this expanded ferry operation."
Port Authority Executive Director Joseph Seymour said Monday that the renovation will substantially strengthen the region's transportation options.
"The Port Authority has worked aggressively to bolster the region's ferry network, particularly during the past 18 months," he said. "Today, ferries handle nearly 70,000 passenger trips a day to and from Manhattan, and we expect commuters to continue to use the service as they realize the substantial benefits this form of transportation provides."
Currently, according to NJ Transit, the Hoboken Terminal is served by more than 280 daily NJ Transit trains, 546 daily PATH trains, 394 daily Hudson-Bergen Light Rail trains and more than 300 daily NJ Transit buses in addition to other private bus carriers serving Hudson County.
News from CITY HALL
The Renovation of the Train and Ferry Terminal
Hoboken, NJ. 25 Feb 2004
NJ Transit today announced it is providing $10 Million dollars toward the total $79 Million dollars from the federal government and the Port Authority for the renovation of the Hoboken Train and Ferry Terminal, including a reconstruction of the historic clock tower that stood until the 1950’s.
NJ Transit Executive Director George Warrington was joined by Mayor Roberts in the terminal waiting room to make the announcement. The First phase of the rehab will begin in April and should conclude in the spring of 2005.
“ The rehabilitation of the historic facility with the restoration of the original ferry slips, are critical steps to improve trans-Hudson access,” Warrington said at the wednesday conference.
The tower, which will be rebuilt in the second phase, was originally built in 1907 with the rest of the building, but taken down in the 1950’s due to unsafe conditions. It will be rebuilt on the terminal based on the original design by Kenneth Murchison.
I know the above is a bit old news, but since I was on the subject in another thread....
April 30, 2005
Rehabilitation Is Coming to Hoboken Ferry Terminal
Restoration work on the original ferry slips at the Hoboken terminal is expected to follow repair of exterior walls that has already begun.
By PATRICK McGEEHAN
New Jersey officials said yesterday that they were ready to choose a construction company to renovate the 98-year-old ferry terminal that has been rotting on the Hoboken waterfront since the 1960's.
Within a few years, commuters once again will be able to walk through the copper-faced Beaux-Arts terminal to board boats bound for Manhattan, said George D. Warrington, executive director of New Jersey Transit, which owns the building.
To check the time, they will be able to glance up at a 225-foot replica of the clock tower that once stood atop the building.
The building had been virtually vacant since the terminal closed in 1967. When ferry service was revived in the late 1980's, commuters had to walk around the train platforms and onto barges to reach the ferryboats.
"This facility is the heartblood of Hoboken," said the city's mayor, David Roberts, who joined Mr. Warrington and Bernard F. Kenny Jr., a state senator, to announce the ferry terminal's rehabilitation. "This is where everything happens." The adjoining waiting room for rail passengers was restored and reopened in 1999.
Each weekday, about 70,000 people pass through Hoboken's transit hub, which connects New Jersey Transit commuter trains with the ferries, PATH trains and the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system. About 20,000 passengers take ferryboats to or from Manhattan each business day.
New Jersey Transit, which bought the complex from the federal government in 1975, has been planning the renovation for several years. It has spent $10 million on the project, which is expected to cost $94 million.
The biggest contribution, $43 million, has come from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The rest came from various federal agencies, Mr. Warrington said.
The money will be spent replacing and reinforcing wooden pilings that support the terminal, repairing its walls and connecting it to the restored waiting room, he said. Construction will begin by summer and will be completed by 2007, the 100th anniversary of the opening of the terminal, which was designed by Kenneth Murchison.
When the work is complete, ferryboats will dock at ramps built at ground level, said Frank J. Smolar, the project director for New Jersey Transit. First, however, the terminal's floor must be raised because floods occur at high tide. Once inside, passengers will not pass through the part of the terminal used by the commuters of the early 20th century; instead, they will follow the path once reserved for horses. In those days, passengers went to the terminal's second floor to reach wooden ramps to the ferryboats' upper decks, Mr. Smolar said. Teams of horses and cars rode below, he said. "We'll take only passengers across the river," Mr. Smolar said. "We won't take horses or cars anymore."
The work will leave untouched the most remarkable section of the building, its second floor, which is 470 feet long and called the "grand concourse." In the terminal's heyday, more than 100,000 people moved through that room each day, walking beneath stained-glass windows in the ceiling and through exits with destinations in Lower Manhattan like "Barclay St." or "Christopher St."
Ferry ridership dwindled after tunnels carrying cars and trains were built to connect New York City and New Jersey. Mr. Smolar said the project does not call for improvements to the building's ornate facade, which nearly a century of oxidation has rendered a pale shade of green. Mr. Warrington showed a soft spot for the old building when he recounted the role he played in its acquisition. As a young employee of New Jersey's Department of Transportation, Mr. Warrington said he handled the check for the purchase of the terminal from the Federal Railroad Administration. The price: $322,000.
As Mr. Kenny noted, that would have been enough to buy 10 brownstones in Hoboken in the mid 70's, but it would not buy half of one today.
Glad to see that things are picking up in the world of commuter ferries, and that a step towards the past is being made. I'm excited to see what the restoration work brings.
That area looked like crap for so long I am surprised it took this long before something was done about it.
But I suppose with all the PILOT programs being bandied about that our tax revenues have not made it to the level needed for such valued civic restorations and improvements.
I hope this is one of many steps we will see in the near future.
Was looking up so old NJTransit News and found this press release on the company that is doing the renovation and this article also state how this is important and will help link Hoboken and Jersey City. Also since we are focusing on the news about the Weehawken Ferry Terminal, might as well update this aswell. It is from about 7 months ago:
NJ TRANSIT NAMES ‘MASTER PLANNER AND DEVELOPER’ FOR 65-ACRE HOBOKEN TERMINAL PROPERTY
R to design blueprint for waterfront gateway
October 12, 2005
NEWARK, NJ – NJ TRANSIT’s Board of Directors today selected LCOR to produce a master plan that will serve as a blueprint for transit-oriented development at its 65-acre Hoboken Terminal and Yard complex.
The selection of LCOR after a competitive process signals NJ TRANSIT’s intention to create a facility that can both serve as an integrated multimodal transit center and a gateway befitting the Hudson waterfront for more than 50,000 commuters and residents who use the complex daily.
"A master plan for this site that fully integrates the needs of the commuters and the community is long overdue," said NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman and DOT Commissioner Jack Lettiere. "We look forward to working with Hoboken and Jersey City to design a blueprint that will optimize the potential of this asset while reinforcing local commerce."
LCOR will develop a master plan at its own expense and will serve as master planner and developer for the site. For the master planning process, LCOR has assembled a well-known team that has unique experience in transit-oriented development including projects such as JFK International Arrivals Terminal, Grand Central Terminal and Washington Union Station. The team includes the firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, Williams Jackson Ewing, Inc., DMJM + Harris and Langan Engineering.
"Working with a world-renowned team enables us to design a blueprint for turning this diamond in the rough into the jewel in the crown of NJ TRANSIT’s system," said Executive Director George D. Warrington. "The master planning process will evaluate the entire complex and its potential for adaptive reuse, transit-oriented development and related intermodal and pedestrian connectivity."
City of Hoboken Mayor David Roberts said, "We look forward to working with NJ TRANSIT and LCOR to achieve a transit-oriented development plan that will complement the character of our community and deliver the mixed-use opportunities that enhance the quality of life for residents."
In beginning the master plan process, NJ TRANSIT is seeking to:
· Improve intermodal functionality to enhance the NJ TRANSIT customer experience and operational efficiency between rail, light rail, bus, PATH and ferry.
· Maximize economic return from an underutilized real estate asset through transit-oriented development.
· Reactivate the historic terminal as a waterfront gateway that serves as a well-conceived transportation terminal and a mixed-use community hub.
· Promote economic development and capitalize on public investment in the terminal building.
"This outstanding waterfront site is the keystone that unites Hoboken and Jersey City," said LCOR executive vice president Kurt M. Eichler. "Through the time-tested strategy of public-private partnership, we will tap Hoboken Terminal and Yard's transit-oriented development potential to deliver first-class economic opportunities and benefits to both residents and transit users throughout the region."
Improving intermodal connections
When Hoboken Terminal was designed and constructed one hundred years ago, most customers used it exclusively as a transfer point between trains and trans-Hudson ferries. The City of Hoboken existed primarily as a seaport and railroad town.
Today, in addition to trains and ferries, Hoboken Terminal customers make connections between commuter rail, buses, PATH, light rail vehicles, ferries and other modes as well as using the terminal to access the City of Hoboken, which has become a destination in its own right.
One of the goals of the Master Development Plan will be to improve Hoboken Terminal by creating a more customer-friendly layout that better integrates the various travel modes and provides seamless passenger and pedestrian flow as well as enhanced amenities for commuters.
"Over the past century, Hoboken Terminal has evolved into a patch-work terminal hosting different transportation modes without a vision for the future that takes advantage of intermodal connections that can adequately service tens of thousands of customers daily," said Executive Director Warrington. "This plan will help us rethink the way Hoboken Terminal and its Yard will serve customers and the surrounding community for the next 100 years."
Hoboken Ferry Terminal rehabilitation moves forward
Also today, the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors approved a $53.9 million contract for the second phase of a rehabilitation project that will return a portion of Hoboken Terminal to its original design, ultimately restoring permanent ferry service to the historic building and creating a new ferry waiting area for customers.
The construction contract award to Hall Construction Co., Inc. of Howell, New Jersey will allow for marine construction of five of the original six ferry slips, as well as restoration of the exterior copper facade and lighting on the river side of the terminal, structural repairs, roof repairs, and demolition of the finger piers and wooden fenders. In addition, NJ TRANSIT plans to build a replica of the clock tower that originally stood on top of the building. The clock tower will mimic the original 1907 design by artist Kenneth Murchinson.
The second phase of construction is expected to begin at the end of this year and finish in 2008. The project’s first phase, which began last year and was completed in September 2005, included repairs to the terminal’s substructure and superstructure.
Early design work for the third and final phase is anticipated within the next few months.
The overall project aims to rehabilitate and restore the historic Hoboken Terminal Complex for customer convenience and operational reliability, while protecting and enhancing the historic assets of the terminal. At the project’s completion, the restoration of ferry service into the original slips will allow for expansion of ferry service and greater flexibility in providing commuter service to Manhattan.
That clocktower is a beauty!!
NJ TRANSIT TO BEGIN REBUILDING CLOCK TOWER AT HOBOKEN TERMINAL
Radio tower to be dismantled this weekend
June 1, 2006
Contact: Dan Stessel 973-491-7078
NEWARK, NJ — As part of its vision to restore the Hoboken Terminal complex to its original splendor, NJ TRANSIT today announced its demolition plan for the old radio tower that sits atop the historic structure, making way for a dramatic replica of the original clock tower that welcomed rail and ferry travelers for nearly half a century.
Weather permitting, the radio tower, which today stands on the footprint of the original clock tower, will be demolished Friday, June 2 through Monday, June 5. The steel framework for the new clock tower, modeled after the 1907 design by artist Kenneth Murchinson, will be erected in the fall, with project completion expected next summer.
"The plan to reconstruct the historic clock tower is great news for the City of Hoboken," said Hoboken Mayor David Roberts. "I have long been an advocate of historic preservation and restoration, and I applaud every effort to celebrate Hoboken’s past, as well as one of our community’s most historic landmarks."
"Replacing Hoboken Terminal’s clock tower is a milestone in our effort to transform the facility to better serve residents, visitors and customers," said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington. "As we improve intermodal functionality, reactivate the historic ferry terminal and promote economic development within the complex, Hoboken Terminal will become a crown jewel on the Hudson Waterfront."
"We extend our gratitude to NJ TRANSIT for the diligent stewardship of a true historic landmark," said Theresa Castellano, chair of the Hoboken Historical Preservation Commission. "On behalf of the Hoboken Historic Preservation Committee, we deem it a privilege to be included in the restoration of the Hoboken Ferry Terminal, which is listed on the national register of historic places."
Hoboken Terminal was constructed in 1907 by the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad with the clock tower as part of the original Beaux-Arts design. Standing 203 feet tall, the tower featured four-foot backlit letters spelling the word "LACKAWANNA" on all four sides, as well as four pediment clock faces and a large hipped roof topped by a flagpole.
After it was weakened in a storm, the clock tower was removed around 1950. The radio tower was installed in its place.
Hoboken Terminal rehabilitation moves forward
In October 2005, the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors approved a $53.9 million contract for the second phase of a rehabilitation project that will return a portion of Hoboken Terminal to its original design, ultimately restoring permanent ferry service to the historic building and creating a new ferry waiting area for customers.
The construction contract allows for marine construction of five of the original six ferry slips, as well as restoration of the exterior copper facade and lighting on the river side of the terminal, structural repairs, roof repairs, and demolition of the finger piers and wooden fenders.
Early design work for the final phase of construction is expected later this year.
Also last fall, NJ TRANSIT hired LCOR to create a master plan that will serve as a blueprint for transit-oriented development at the 65-acre Hoboken Terminal and Yard complex. The restored facility will serve as an integrated multimodal transit center and a gateway benefiting the Hudson waterfront for more than 50,000 commuters, as well as residents in the area.
Excellent. This is the place for Hoboken to acquire a few slender skyscrapers instead of the fatsos that have lately waddled in to [dis]grace its waterfront.Originally Posted by JCMAN320
Say good-bye to the radio tower:
HOBOKEN BUS TERMINAL IMPROVEMENTS COMPLETED
Enhanced safety for pedestrians and buses
December 19, 2006
Contact: Joe Dee 973 491-7078
NEWARK, NJ — Brighter lighting, new pedestrian fences and crosswalks, and extensive roof repairs are among the improvements benefiting thousands of customers who pass through Hoboken Bus Terminal each day.
The improvements, part of a $775,000 restoration project completed this month by NJ TRANSIT, are designed to enhance pedestrian safety and customer convenience for the 6,000 bus customers who begin or end their trips at the terminal each day. In addition, the project will benefit thousands of pedestrians who pass through the bus lanes as they walk between the surrounding streets and Hoboken Terminal, which serves more than 50,000 commuters each weekday on commuter rail, light rail, buses, ferries and PATH trains.
"Hoboken Terminal is one of the jewels of the city, and this renovation project adds to its luster,’’ said Hoboken Mayor David Roberts. "We welcome the improved functionality and appearance of the bus terminal."
NJ TRANSIT safety engineers analyzed pedestrian and bus traffic through the facility and designed a series of enhancements, including attractive new fences to channel pedestrians to designated crosswalks. To improve lighting and visibility, incandescent bulbs were replaced with high-powered halogen lamps. New reflective signage and high-visibility paint was used to delineate pedestrian zones and provide direction for bus operators.
NJ TRANSIT also made innovative use of materials and techniques to improve accessibility and safety for customers with visual impairments. The terminal’s crosswalks now feature raised edges and other tactile cues to help visually impaired customers stay within the boundaries of pedestrian areas. Dimpled surfaces embedded in the pavement indicate that pedestrians have reached the end of a crosswalk or are traversing an area between bus lanes.
"We welcome the new physical markers at the Hoboken Terminal to assist visually-impaired visitors," said Vito DeSantis, executive director for the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired at the Department of Human Services. "Being able to determine where the bus lanes and crosswalks are will go a long way toward promoting safety and independence and we're gratified that NJ TRANSIT is a partner in this."
The bus terminal’s shed, which provides protective cover for the five bus lanes below, received a significant amount of attention, including roof repairs and repainting of the shed’s fascia, underside and steel supports. New identifying signage now spans the side of the structure.
"moo."attractive new fences to channel pedestrians to designated crosswalks
Also, I noticed the lights and stuff, but how is all the traffic lights and crosswalks and corralling pedestrian barriers supposed to be an improvement of the BUS TERMINAL? It is more civil infrastructure than the shed/roof that they call a terminal.
Oh, my opinion? Close off that whole lower area. Make the one way street in front of Scotland Yard (Hudson Street) two way for another block, and change the one way road in front of what used to be the Clam Broth House (before the owner did some unlicensed "improvements" that almost caused the thing to collapse).
You would still get the parking out around the corners, but you would eliminate a LOT of traffic through one of the most heavily crossed pedestrian ways in the city. You would also make it possible to hold things like fairs and markets in the space, and could remove the current ugly "anti-terrorism" "deterrents" that they have down by the ferry parking lot that is now used for employees only.
But no, that would MAKE SENSE! Far be it from Hoboken to spend $775 MILLION dollars on something that would make sense.
The exterior renovation is almost complete. The US Army Corps has been dredging all of the old pilings dividing the ferrys. It looks really good, I'll try and get a picture in the next few days.