At the southernmost tip of West Street, a pier juts out into New York Harbor. Until just a few weeks ago, it was fenced in, and closed off to the public. But after a years-long renovation and restoration process, Pier A—a 128-year-old structure with a handsome clocktower that once served the docks and harbor police as well as the city’s fire department—is open to the public for the very first time in its long history. To say that the makeover has been hotly anticipated would be an understatement. Taking the pier from decrepit and abandoned to a three-story, flood-prepared building with beautifully-designed bars and restaurants (run by the Poulakakos group) as well as a visitor’s center, plus a public promenade, plaza, and ample seating, cost around $40 million, with the Economic Development Council footing most of the bill. But boy, is she pretty. And those views of the Statue of Liberty aren’t bad either, especially in the sunset.
The pier is south of West Street, west of Battery Place, and sandwiched on its other sides by Battery Park and Wagner Park.
There’s Lady Liberty, off to the left (southwest). Pier A is a landmark, so the exterior restoration had to hold up to the LPC’s scrutiny; it looks original, but better. (Remember, it was in a seriously sorry state just four years ago.)
The area in front of the pier, and to its sides, is a 34,000-square-foot public plaza with seating.
The seating and pedestrian promenade continue around the entire perimeter of the building. In the warmer months, the outdoor tables will be used by restaurant patrons, but they are always publicly accessible.