Ferry/Railroad Terminals and the Morris Canal

Ferry Terminals

  • Battery Maritime Building
    • http://batterymaritimebuilding.com
    • The Battery Maritime Building is a ferry terminal at 11 South Street near South Ferry at the tip of Manhattan, and is used for excursion tips as well as the seaonal ferry to Governor’s Island.The Beaux-Arts landmark building was completed in 1909 and used by ferries traveling to 39th Street in Brooklyn. Designed by the firm Walker and Morris, it used a variety of architectural metals, including cast iron, rolled steel, and stamped zinc and copper. It was originally paired with a twin, the Staten Island Terminal. The Brooklyn ferry service shut down in 1938, and since then the 140,000 sq. ft.building has seen various city tenants.

Circa 1951, South Ferry Terminal. Photo Source: http://images.nypl.org/index.php?id=2040834&t=w

  • St. George Ferry Terminal
  • Whitehall Ferry Terminal
    • The Staten Island Ferry‘s Whitehall Terminal, located at 4 South Street, at the corner of Whitehall Street, is the terminal in the South Ferry area of Lower Manhattan used by the Staten Island Ferry, which connects the two island boroughs of Manhattan and Staten Island in New York City. It was completely renovated and rededicated in February 2005 as a major integrated transportation hub for the ferry, buses, subways, taxis, and bicycle lanes. The ferry travels between the Whitehall Terminal in Manhattan and the St. George Terminal in Staten Island.
    • Originally, before the terminal was first built, ferry service was provided as early as the 1700s by individuals (and later private companies) with their own boats, but a ferry accident June 14, 1901, involving two ferries from different companies, was a major factor in the decision for the city to take control of ferries as part of the public transportation system.The original Whitehall Terminal, called the “Whitehall Street Ferry Terminal,”served Brooklyn, Governors Island, Staten Island, and Weehawken, for passengers who traveled mainly by a system of elevated trains (the “els”).[3] However, as subways replaced the els, and cars began to travel through an increasing number of bridges and tunnels such as the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, new terminal facilities were built at Whitehall with the primary purpose of serving the Staten Island Ferry. The ferry began operating under the municipal authority of the Department of Docks and Ferries on October 25, 1905, seven years after the five boroughs were consolidated into New York City. The “Municipal Ferry Terminal” was erected in 1908-09, during the administration of Mayor George McClellan, and designed by the architectural firm of Walker and Morris.The older Whitehall Terminal was purely functional, described as a “squat, washed-out green hulk in which function vanquished form,” and was once referred to by the American Institute of Architects as the world’s most banal portal of joy.[2] When that terminal was gutted in 1991 as a result of a major fire, the city saw the chance to replace it with a building in which it could take pride—but a fourteen-year period of design plan submissions, rejections, and changes, delayed construction again and again—in addition to the basic construction challenges inherent in the rebuilding of the terminal in a way which would cause little or no disruption to ferry service on the water or subway service underneath the construction site.In 1992, the New York City Economic Development Corporation held an international competition for a replacement facility, and selected a design for the terminal from Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates. Other entrants included Rafael Vinoly, Aldo Rossi, Polshek Partners and SOM. The winning design featured a barrel vaulted waiting room whose ceiling was higher than Grand Central Terminal‘s. This design also incorporated a large electronic facade facing the harbor, which would have been the largest clock in the world; however, it was deemed by civic authorities as architecturally unacceptable.The design ultimately accepted, produced by former Whitehall Architectural Design director Ronald Evitts and Fred Schwartz, called for a 19,000-square-foot (1,800 m2) structure to replace the existing building, with a 90-foot-high (27 m) entry hall, and a waiting room that was 50% larger, with views of the New York Harbor.  Also added were a rooftop waterfront viewing deck with a photovoltaic array on its canopy, a Percent for Art installation called Slips by Dennis Adams, and connections on either end to the waterfront esplanade on the east and west sides of Manhattan.


Railroad Terminals

Central Railroad of New Jersey, Jersey City, New Jersey. Photo source: https://northriversailny.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/7f4a5-cnjferryterminaljerseycitycirca1920s.jpg

Jersey City Terminal and Train Shed from the signal bridge near tower A, ca. 1952 taken by CNJ photographer Adolph Q. Vogel, Frank T. Reilly collection. Photo Source: http://www.lhry.org/Images/Jersey-City-terminal-form.jpg

An aerial view of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, on January 27, 1965 (source: NYC Municipal Archives). Foreground, left the Central Railroad of New Jersey at Communipaw and the east source of the Morris Canal. Photo source: http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/infocus/nycm042712/e_s_n22_dma20632.jpg

Circa, 1966, Central Railroad Station of New Jersey, left, Lehigh Valley Railroad yard (on the Morris Canal [Canal is offscreen, to the right]), Jersey City, New Jersey. Photo source: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7549/15958801112_eb01419f37_z.jpg

Central Railroad of New Jersey terminal, Jersey City, New Jersey. Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0a/CRRNJ_Terminal%2C_Liberty_State_Park%2C_Jersey_City_NJ.jpg


Pennsylvania Railroad Terminal, Exchange Place, Jersey City, New Jersey. Photo source: http://37.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mcue1o3yNj1rbozcoo3_r1_1280.jpg

Entrance to Pennsylvania Railroad Ferry, Jersey City, New Jersey Photo Source: http://furnesque.tumblr.com/post/34850191832/jersey-city-ferry-terminal-pennsylvania-railroad

The Pennsylvania Railroad’s Exchange Place Terminal, Jersey City NJ. The inside of the great arch shed. Photo source: http://www.railsandtrails.com/Pictures/1897PicturesquePRR/02-JerseyCity-100gbu.jpg

History – Until the opening of the North River Tunnels and the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad tubes around 1910 travel to Manhattan from most of the continental USA required a transfer to a ferry at the Hudson River, at the time often called the North River. Of the five passenger terminals operated by competing railroad companies that once lined the Hudson Waterfront Hoboken is the only one in active use. Those at Weehawken (NYC), Pavonia (Erie), Exchange Place (PRR) were demolished in the 1960s. The restored Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal is now part of Liberty State Park.

Cuts and tunnels were constructed through Bergen Hill to the terminals on the west bank of the river and the Upper New York Bay. One of the Bergen Hill Tunnels under Jersey City Heights was opened in 1876 by the Morris and Essex Railroad. A parallel tunnel was added in 1908 by Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad (DL&W). Both are still used New Jersey Transit.

The site of the terminal has been used as a ferry landing since the colonial era, accessible via turnpike roads, and later plank roads (namely the Hackensack, the Paterson and a spur of the Newark Plank Road). John Stevens, founder of Hoboken and inventor, launched steamboat service in 1811. Ferry service ended In 1967. It resumed in 1989 on the south side of the terminal and moved back to the restored ferry slips inside the historic terminal on December 7, 2011.[6]

The Phoebe Snow was a premiere passenger train that departed daily from the station. In 1956, four years before its merger with the DL&W to form the Erie Lackawanna Railway, the Erie Railroad began shifting its trains from its Jersey City terminal to Hoboken. In October 1965, on former Erie routes, there were five weekday trains ran to Midvale, three to Nyack, three to Waldwick via Newark, two to Essex Fells, two to Carlton Hill, and one to Newton. All those trains were dropped in 1966. Trains to Chicago and Buffalo were discontinued on January 5, 1970.

Numerous streetcar lines (eventually owned and operated by the Public Service Railway), including the Hoboken Inclined Cable Railway, originated/terminated at the station until bustitution was completed on August 7, 1949.

The terminal, like Hoboken itself, is a place of “firsts”. One year before his death, Thomas Edison was at the controls for the first departure, in 1930, of a regular-service electric multiple unit train from Hoboken Terminal to Montclair. One of the first installations of central air-conditioning in a public space was at station, as was the first non-experimental use of mobile phones.The station has been used for film shoots, including Funny Girl, Three Days of the Condor, Once Upon a Time in America, The Station Agent, The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, Julie & Julia, Rod Stewart‘s Downtown Train video (1990) and Eric Clapton‘s video for his 1996 single “Change the World“.

Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoboken_Terminal


The photo above shows ferryboats resting at the Erie-Lackawanna Terminal (1907) on Sept. 2, 1964. Photo Source: http://worldshipny.com/images/el8hobterm.jpg


Pavonia Terminal was the Erie Railroad’s intermodal terminal on the Hudson Waterfront in Jersey City, New Jersey Photo source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/77/PavoniaTerminalErieRRJerseyCity.tiff/lossless-page1-488px-PavoniaTerminalErieRRJerseyCity.tiff.png

Pavonia Station, Jersey City, New Jersey, Erie Railroad. Photo Source: http://www.decodog.com/inven/rr/rr28359.jpg

Circa 1900, ferries departing Weehawken Terminal. Photo source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b5/WestshoreRRWeehawkenimg096.jpg


Circa 1955, Weehawken Terminal. Photo source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/9f/Weehawken_Terminal.jpg


69th Street Transfer Bridge

New York Central Railroad 69th Street Transfer Bridge



Morris Canal

  • The Morris Canal, sometimes called the Morris and Essex Canal, was a 107-mile (172-km) canal across northern New Jersey in the United States. In use from the late 1820s to the 1920s, it stretched from Phillipsburg on the Delaware River eastward to Jersey City on the Hudson River. It was considered a technical marvel for its water-driven inclined planes to cross the northern New Jersey hills.Completed to Newark in 1831, the canal was extended eastward to Jersey City between 1834 and 1836. It eased the transportation of anthracite coal from Pennsylvania‘s   Lehigh Valley to northern New Jersey’s growing iron industry and other developing industries in New Jersey and the New York City area. It also carried iron ore westward to iron furnaces in western New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania until the development of Great Lakes iron ore caused them to decline. By the 1850s, the canal began to be eclipsed by the construction of railroads, although it remained in heavy use through the 1860s. It was leased to the Lehigh Valley Railroad in 1871, taken over by the state of New Jersey late in 1922, and formally abandoned in 1924.  Although it was largely dismantled in the following five years, portions of the canal and its accompanying feeders and ponds are preserved. A greenway for cyclists and pedestrians is planned to use the old route through Jersey City

Circa 1954, Lehigh Valley railroad yards at the Johnston Avenue pier looking to the Morris Canal, Jersey City, New Jersey. Photo source: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7008/6757455545_d46fa56619_z.jpg

Circa 1955 Central Railroad Station of New Jersey, left, and Lehigh Valley Railroad Yard on the Morris Canal, Jersey City, New Jersey. Photo Source: https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2691/4082278677_7a5670fedd_z.jpg

Circa 1933, 60 Wall Street View From Cities Service Tower, looking northwest from the collections of the Museum of the City of New York. Photo Source: http://nygeschichte.blogspot.com/2013/07/lower-manhattan-journey-through-time.html

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