Wednesday, March 18, 2009

World Financial Center $91 Million Ferry Terminal Opens









$91 Million for a barge with 5 ferry slips. I don't know where the cost controls were on this project, originally estimated to cost $37.5 Million and to be completed in 2006! Ok, so if I can separate myself from such extreme waste and ineptitude, let's look at the structure.
My first impression was that it has a good look- sleek and modern. It is a combination of Steel, Glass, and canvas-like fabric. Natural light is plentiful. It has a light and airy feel and the materials seem appropriate to the setting. The ferries seem to be coming and going with ease, and the few digital boards are a great help in tracking the boarding to various locations. There are also numerous lamps equally spaced throughout that appear to have heating elements to keep the waiting commuters warm on a tougher weather day. Somehow, I missed the bathrooms. I am guessing that they were behind the ticket booth.

There were two practical flaws that jumped out right away. First, the windscreens are somewhat effective, but you still feel a pretty good breeze inside the terminal. For $90 Million, you would figure that you would at least have a sealed roof. Second, in the middle of the space is a large steel cage, I assume for billboards. The cage is attached to the structure with 2 large steel rings. With winds today at around 10 mph, it was swaying with a gentle groan. If you are standing under it, and notice it for the first time, your instinct is to get out from under it in short order.

Aside from these 2 flaws and the huge cost overrun, I would give it a positive review.

(Editors Note: if anyone knows of a good program to put a photo album on Blogger, please email me at andrew@afinecompany.com. Thanks, Andrew)

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