downtownexpress.com

Volume 19 • Issue 18 | September 15 - 21, 2006

Under cover

Pier pressure

For a dilapidated berth shrouded in scaffolding, Pier A certainly has a lot of suitors. And the latest one is the Battery Park City Authority, the state agency that runs Battery Park City.

New York City owns Pier A, a 19th century pier at the edge of Battery Park, and leases it to Wings Point Associates, a private developer. In the years that Wings Point has owned the pier, the company has been mired in lawsuits with the city and dead-end negotiations with the National Park Service to move security screening for Liberty Island tours onto the pier.

Meanwhile, the silver and green pier with an historic clock tower, has sat decrepit and aging, in need of as much as $40 million in work. The Battery Park City Authority thinks it is up for the job of fixing it up.

“I’ve been trying to take over Pier A for the last 10 years,” said B.P.C.A. chairperson James Gill, who also wants to take over the revitalization of Greenwich Street South. “It’s just sitting there doing nothing except looking ugly.”

Gill recently sent a letter to Dep. Mayor Dan Doctoroff — who oversees the Economic Development Corp., the city agency that owns the pier — telling him he wants the pier for Battery Park City.

“They’ve given serious thought to my proposal,” said Gill, adding that the pier now lies within the B.P.C. Authority’s jurisdiction.

If the authority controlled the pier, it would buy out Wings Point’s interests and use the pier for a Park Service security screening area, with a restaurant and retail space.

A spokesperson for Doctoroff referred all questions to the E.D.C., which did not return calls for comment.

“That pier is between Battery Park City and historic Battery Park,” said Gill. “The park’s getting better and better and the last thing we need is that ugly thing between them and us.”


Principal pet

Former P.S. 234 principal Sandy Bridges has a new charge. Bridges gave birth to Henry Allen Lugar at 10:48 p.m. on Aug. 14 — a full four weeks early. “When they’re cooked they’re cooked!” she said of little Henry, who weighed 8 lbs. 10.6 oz. and was 22 inches long.

Henry might have been ready to make his grand entrance, but 38-year-old Bridges and husband Matthew Lugar, 39, were anything but. “When the doctor said you have to come to the hospital, I burst into tears, I said ‘I haven’t washed anything!’” Bridges said. The couple hadn’t cleaned any of the baby’s clothes, bought a car seat or finished the rest of their pre-baby shopping. So while Bridges went into labor, Lugar went on a shopping spree. “He was an absolute hero. He’s a good shopper,” she said.

Bridges resigned from her job at the Tribeca elementary school at the end of last school year to prepare for her first baby. She has no plans to return to the beloved Warren St. school and she and her family plan to move to Connecticut later this fall.

Like his chatty, cheerful mother, Henry appears to be a social fellow already. “He’s very congenial,” said Bridges. Another former P.S. 234 principal, Anna Switzer, visited Bridges last week at her Manhattan apartment. Henry took to Bridges’ old boss right away and sat on her lap for an hour. “He just wants to know what’s going on. He’s just a peach, I couldn’t have asked for a better baby. We like him very much. We think we’ll keep him.”



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