EXTERIOR REPAIRS COMPLETED ON SANDY BATTERED HISTORIC TERMINAL
AT LIBERTY STATE PARK
CONCOURSE TO BE OPEN ON THURSDAY FOR VISITORS TO THE STATE’S 9/11 MEMORIAL
(14/P97) TRENTON – Exterior repairs to the historic Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal Building at Liberty State Park, battered by Superstorm Sandy, have been completed, marking a significant milestone in recovery efforts for the iconic building, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin said today.
With the removal of construction equipment and scaffolding, the building now stands obstruction-free to visitors. The concourse of the building will be temporarily open to the public on September 11 for visitation, particularly for those visiting the nearby 9/11 memorial. The concourse will be reopened at the end of the month but will be closed again early next year to allow additional interior work.
“Restoration of o the Terminal Building’s exterior allows us to turn to a new chapter in the recovery of Liberty State Park,” said Commissioner Martin. “This historic structure took a direct hit from Sandy and suffered millions of dollars in damage. We are now one step closer to fully repairing the park so that patrons can benefit from all that it has to offer.”
The Terminal Building, which served as the launch point into America for millions of immigrants, suffered $4.9 million in damages due to Sandy. Repairs are now complete for the building’s exterior doors, windows, roof and skylights, as well as the concourse exterior doors and skylights. The project was designed by LWDMR Architects of Jersey City and construction was done by Merrell & Garaguso, Inc. of Swedesboro.
The 1,200-acre park is the most popular destination in the State Park system. Since Superstorm Sandy hit in 2012, the park has reopened the two-mile waterfront walkway known as Liberty Walk, 9/11 Memorial, the Grove of Remembrance, Liberty Landing Marina, the Green Park playground and most of the park’s public use acreage and facilities.
The main ferry slip, which sits adjacent to the Terminal Building, and sustained bulkhead damage due to Sandy, also has been fully restored. Reconstruction of several other ferry slips, which have long been damaged and out of service, are scheduled to be repaired by 2016.
The interior of the Terminal Building and the Interpretive Center remain closed to the public while undergoing extensive repairs. The State has issued a contract to STV Architects, Inc. of Trenton for the design of the interior of the Terminal Building. The redesign will include moving and elevating mechanical and electrical equipment to higher ground. The reopening of the interior is scheduled for September 2015.
“Each day, we strive to rebuild the park to pre-existing Sandy conditions and additionally, see what other improvements are needed,” said Liberty State Park Superintendent Robert Rodriguez. “Whether it’s by land or water – we welcome new visitors and old friends to enjoy a day at the park and see what it has to offer.”
Liberty State Park, which sits along the New Jersey/New York Harbor, was formerly opened on Flag Day on June 14, 1976 as New Jersey’s Bicentennial gift to the nation. The Terminal Building stands with the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island to form America’s Historic Trilogy.
Ferry service to Liberty Island and Ellis Island is provided by Statue Cruises. Ferries depart from Liberty State Park and Battery Park in Manhattan. Statue Cruises is expanding its hours of operation through October 13 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Visitors will have an additional hour to explore both islands with the last boats departing the islands at 6:00 p.m.
MEDIA NOTE: For downloadable photos of Liberty State Park for your use, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/newsrel/2014/liberty-sandy-photos.htm.
Reporters interested in touring the Terminal Building and park should contact the DEP Press Office: 609.292.2994.
For more information on Liberty State Park, visit: www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/liberty.html
For more information on the Statue of Liberty National Monument, including links to ferry service, visit: www.nps.gov/stli/index.htm
For more information on from Statue Cruises, visit: check www.statuecruises.com.