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scrap metal - the worlds last great ocean liners

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Well, what I left out of the story what happened in September 2001 which led to my leaving the Piers. The September 11 attack affected me and my job directly. Not only were all special events and trade shows none existent for several months after the attack, the NYPST was turned into the a major command post for all the governing agencies, police, mayor and feds. As well as Pier 94 was turned into a Red Cross center. They even pulled in a huge Red Cross ship from the military. Anytime you saw a press conference on TV during the 3 months after the attacks. that was my stage, lights,audio and backdrop the Mayor stood in front of.

Everything changed in November, at first there was plenty to do and patriotism was flying high, but after 2 1/2 months, word came that the command post was going to stay in operation indefinitely, it was over me and the contractor I worked for in a matter of days. Eventually the command post and feds moved out and shows and ships are back once again but my contractor no longer there. I could tell you a hundreds of stories about the piers, but that will have to wait.

Bill the NYPST has been used for a number of things besides ships, when I was there besides the Trade shows, they used Pier 94 for storing all of the Pope Mobiles(he had 3 of them) for when the Pope visited and they had Carousel horse auctions, dog shows, food shows. fashion shows and big gala parties. They shot many scenes from Kojak there, (before my time) Law and order used the front entrance of Pier 92 for an airport terminal scene once.

Here is another Cruise liner fact: Whenever the QE2 arrived, no ships were allowed to be docked at the same pier or at the berth opposite the QE2.

I also have around here somewhere 2 deck chairs from the QE2 Around 10 years ago the QE2 bought all new furniture and left on Pier 90 for trash hundreds of these deck chairs. Well just about everybody that worked down there got a few.

JP

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More piers that need to be identified- these have to do with New York Airways helicopter operations down on the waterfront....

"Dexter 82736-B (NY-31) Port Authority West 30th Street Heliport." Using the suggested thumbnail rule, I take it this would be roughly at the location of "Pier 70" ??

82736-B_NY-31_Port_Authority_West_30th_Street_Heliport.jpg

82736-B_NY-31_Port_Authority_West_30th_Street_Heliport-back.jpg

"Wall Street heliport also operates to the World's Fair". This appears to be a different location than the West 30th Street heliport in the postcard above. What pier would THIS one be?

Wall_Street_heliport_also_operates_to_the_Worlds_Fair.jpg

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Your first card is indeed the "West 30th St. Heliport". It would have been Pier 70, but all my maps have it un-numbered, a few show the exact configuration shown on your card. I'm thinking 70 was removed to install those 2 ports.

Your second card is the "Downtown Manhattan Heliport", Pier 6 on the EAST side of Manhattan. (The numbering system started at each edge of Battery Park.) Pier 1 on that side was Coast Guard, 2 was S.I. Ferry, 3 was Governor's Island Ferry.

Pier 6 points directly to Jeanette Park, and that nice building behind the landing chopper is Seaman's Church Institute.

This just in---

That building WAS Seaman's Church Institute:

"A unique memorial to the victims of the Titanic disaster is the Titanic Memorial Lighthouse in New York, dedicated on April 15th, 1913. A black 'time ball', activated by a telegraphic signal from the National Observatory in Washington, would drop down the pole at the very top of the Lighthouse at midday to signify the time to ships in the harbour, visible here in the photograph on the left.

It originally sat atop the Seaman's Church Institute located on the corner of South Street and Coenties Slip, but in 1968, the Seamen's Church Institute moved its offices, and the company responsible for the demolition of the old block donated the Lighthouse to the South Street Seaport Museum, and in May 1976, it was erected in its current location."

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Here are some cool shots my grandfather took of Italian Line's Michelangelo, layed at NYC dock April 1966 after a devestating wave smashed the ship killing several people. There was quite a bit of damage.

Fourth photo is at the Home Lines pier, as my Aunt unloads trunk before Oceanic cruise. Notice how you could practically drive right up to the ship.

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Wow, that must have been one nasty wave indeed. Great shots, thanks for sharing.

My parents took several cruises on the Oceanic. I have a bunch of slides I scanned for them of their cruises on that and other ships. They were part-time travel agents and got quite a few trips out of it, but after I had left for college. I didn't get to go like my younger brothers, but from the pictures it sure likes they were having fun. Too bad that era has passed. I did a cruise a few years ago with my folks on one of the Disney ships and they said it was one of the best they had been on in terms of cabins and staffing, so I guess the new era isn't all bad.

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Another view of the world's fastest liner, 1964

ss-united-states-5.jpg

I wonder what was more impressive for those who sailed on her from another port to the US - the trip or the Fair?

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Hi All,

Here is my contribution to the "Pier photographs" posts - although a little earlier. Taken from a single eBay album win that held 8 Olympic portraits (maiden arrrival!), 3 Mauretania, 2 Lusitania and just about every other liner inlcuding Carpathia and the New York, both related to the Titanic tradgedy. No Titanic though. There is a lot of history in this photograph - the info below aside. Millions of people passed through those beautiful pink granite entrances and arches on the other side - even though little bitts remain, it is a sin these piers are gone. I fondly remember when they were not. Enjoy!

Best,

Billy

PIERSptucEKL.jpg

The newly completed Chelsea Piers c. 1910. Lusitania was first in though - September 13th 1907 - when the original 1 story sheds and piers nowhere near the length of the 2 new Cunarders were still being used. White Star Line Piers 61-59 (Titanic's unreached destination) with the Cunard Piers 56 and 54 stretching into the distance (this was Lusitania's last Pier, with the facade still standing, and where the Carpathia docked with Titanic's survivors on April 20th, 1912) . The White Star Piers 60 and 61 in the foreground, the head houses, still exist more or less intact as rare examples of 19th century Bauhaus/Passenger Terminal architecture and were restored recently. The complex was designed by Warren and Wetmore and took about 8 years to complete. It was from here the 1936 Olympic Team departed for Germany where Owens would win his 4 Gold medals.© EKL Image Collection

More Chelsea Pier info and recent images:

http://www.forgotten-ny.com/STREET%20SCENE...ic/titanic.html

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Great pier pix and link. Thanks for sharing. Although these stories always upset me. Why cant anything EVER be left alone? Isnt a 100 year old White Star Line arch old enough to be left alone? People are so shortsighted. Geez.

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THANKS A LOT GUYS... Now you have me all interested in piers. Like I didn't have enough to obsess about....

This site seems to document every remaining pier in NY harbor very thoroughly. Check it out:

<a href="http://www.oldnyc.com/hudson_piers/contents/hudson.html" target="_blank">http://www.oldnyc.com/hudson_piers/contents/hudson.html</a>

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I saw that web site over the weekend, and it's very comprehensive and interesting.

The only thing I wished for was side-by-side 'then-and-now' comparisons.

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Hi Randy

On the spur of the moment this is the best I could do for a view from the other side and of the Piers in happier days. The facades were the same all the way down - the steel frame that exists now is really only a small hint of what was. The first Pier inon the postcard is 61 so this is the other end of the first Pier in my photograph posted eariler. Anyway - Chelsea Piers c. 1911. Below that image is a well known view of Lusitania at Pier 54 rather early in her career - and not the final departure image so often claimed. I have a panoramic in my collection from the Pier Head House down but I don't have it scanned.

Best,

MB

chelseapiers1911.jpg

Pier56LusitaniaPTU.jpg

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In the photos we've seen from the 50's and 60's- they look like they were already stripped down to steel frame. I wonder why they did that- was the stonework getting dangerous or something- or prevented flexibility for gangways to newer taller ships? (kind of like at airports when first generation Jetways couldn't be raised high enough to reach the doors of the twin-aisle widebodies).

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Hi again Randy

All that remians now are the little stone gated archways - little ones on the sides of the steel frame. The stonework on them seemed pretty good when I was there last year - very solid - especially for something apparently totally neglected. They simply chopped right around the small bits they "preserved" in a very rough manner. Also, behind the fences they are stockpiling the old bitts Lusitania, Mauretania and the others once tied up at, and other stuff too - hopefully for some good use! Right next to this is Pier 56 and 57 - very sad to behold indeed. One is just rotting wooden pilings in the water. I don't really know about the changes re necessity in terms of liner design changes over the years as my interest fades fast after Mauretania 1 was scrapped in 1935/36 - I expect these piers remained unchanged for some time, but were phased out not too long after.

Best,

MB

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Last night I posted a shot of the SS United States at her pier in 1964. Here's a very different ship indeed at the same pier in June 1964.

ss-united-states-6.jpg

I can remember visiting some US Navy ships for tours in the 60s. That was the first time I ever set foot on a submarine. Anyone know if the Navy still does this?

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Hi Bill,

I don't know, but I was onboard a German U-Boat in NY Harbour many years ago. It was incredibly tight even for me and I am small at 120 lbs - I had to contort myself to move around. I was allowed to use the periscope, which I trained toward the Intrepid, one pier over. I don't think many other people have had the opportunity to do that. It was neat to be advised "you are now on German soil!" when stepping aboard. I liked the "save water and shower with a friend" sign of course, the shower was perhaps 1 1/2 square feet. I have a photo of me on the conning tower around here somewhere, looking like Jurgen Prochnow in Das Boot. That sub/set was larger! Considerably!

Billy

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I have been on a few of the old diesel powered boats but happily while they were tied up and not on a cruise. I was on the FBM nukes and they were much more spacious. Even there, though, things were cozy. We had one guy that was put on shore duty until he lost weight, as they were concerned he could get stuck in a hatch during an emergency and block up people behind him.

The U-505 in Chicago is a great sub to visit. It was captured during WW II and I believe was the first ship seized by the US Navy since the War of 1812.

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Dear Bill,

Yes - I recall seeing a documentary about that sub in Chicago. Incredible story. I believe it was the Captain of the vessel that captured her that championed the cause of preserving her for the reason you mentioned - first ship captured since 1812. It was remarkable to see it going overland. I wonder what the men who built her would say if they were told she would be a museum peice in the middle of the USA for all these years. I also remember seeing the U-Boat Commander and the Captain who captured her meeting aboard the sub some 20 years later and getting along quite well as men in different times no longer out to kill one another.

Best,

Billy

I wish I could recall the number of the U-Boat I was on - maybe I can find out online. Pardon the humorous typos in my earlier post now corrected - I could not find my glasses and without them......i can't find the keys

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IThe U-505 in Chicago is a great sub to visit. It was captured during WW II and I believe was the first ship seized by the US Navy since the War of 1812.

Check on that!

When I worked at the museum, one thing everyone had to learn was the sub tour. Naturally, everyone was nervous about doing the tour at first, since none of us had ever been on a sub. However, the guy in charge, Richard Freitag, had served on a U.S. sub, and pointed out that none of the tourists knew anything about German subs (not even the Great Lakes Naval Station recruits that would come through). In fact, one of the best guides was a little retired lady, who took the newbies through on her tour as part of the training - when you saw how she could do it, you realized you could too!

Dick Freitag went on to get the USS Siversides (an American sub) established as a tourist attraction, first in Chicago, and now in Muskegon MI. He passed away this past year.

Just FYI, subs are "boats", not "ships", and the U.S. names them for fish.

The U-505 has recently reopened in a covered setting after extensive repairs, and I expect to get down to the museum to see it in a couple of months, when I go down there to be a judge in the city science fair.

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Boy, Wayne, am I glad I said "boat" and not "ship"!

By the way, not all subs are named after fish. Many of the WW II fleet boats were, but the ones I were on were named after famous Americans, and the last ones I worked on were being named for US cities. They probably ran out of fish!!

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When we lived in Athens in the early 60's, ships of the U.S. Navy's 6th fleet would frequently anchor in the port of Pireaus, and they'd give the sailors liberty to go ashore. The boats that would ferry the sailors into shore (they anchored out in deep water instead of at a wharf) also often allowed people to ride out to the 'big boat' for a tour. I'm not sure if you had to be a U.S. citizen or not, or a military dependent or something.

I remember when U.S.S. Enterprise came into port and anchored out there, I wanted to go out and see it on a tour, but my dad found out for THAT one (the first nuke-power A/C carrier) you had to be something like 12 to go on the tour and I was only 7. I was BIG TIME disappointed- my parents went on the tour and left my two younger brothers and I with a baby sitter.

here's a photo my dad shot that day, of a cruise ship in Athens (Pireaus) harbor, with Enterprise anchored in the distance. This was sometime in the winter of '62-63.

17_cruise_ship_and_USS_Enterprise.jpg

closeup: the unique head-on profile of Enterprise

17a_cruise_ship_and_USS_Enterprise.jpg

But they brought home a Chief Petty Officer for Sunday dinner followed by a scenic drive up into the Greek Mountains, and he told us about his job on the ship.

19_adopt-a-sailor.jpg

That's me in the hooded coat, missing a front tooth.

Later my dad made up for it when USS Roosevelt (a steam-powered A/C carrier) came into port- he took me on a Navy tour of that one.

I'd be surprised if they still do open-to-the-public tours like that after 9/11- especially in a foreign port.

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By the way, not all subs are named after fish.... last ones I worked on were being named for US cities. They probably ran out of fish!!

We've got a sub here in Portland that fits into both categories - sort of...

It's real name is the USS Blueback, but it is most famous for its portrayal of the USS Dallas in the emergency blow scene from the movie The Hunt For Red October.

<a href="http://www.omsi.edu/visit/submarine/" target="_blank">http://www.omsi.edu/visit/submarine/</a>

There is also this quote from the OMSI site about the naming of U.S. submarines:

When the Blueback was commissioned in 1959, submarines were named after fish. Since the 1970s, most U.S. Navy submarines have been named after cities and states. Why the change? Admiral Hyman G. Rickover commented, "Fish don't vote!"

Best Regards,

Kevin

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By the way, can any of you identify the cruise ship (or ocean liner) in that picture?

quite obviously, it has to be about nine times bigger than USS Enterprise....hee, hee...

17b_cruise_ship_and_USS_Enterprise.jpg

That white "pin stripe" down the length of the hull makes it look pretty classy, doesn't it?

I think it was the late 50's or early 60's that a new class of Navy subs switched to 'Patriot' names, like George Washington and Ethan Allen.

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I believe the first of the subs named for a person was the SSBN George Washington, the first Polaris boat. That led to a group of Polaris and Poseidon boats that was collectively called "Forty One for Freedom". There were a total then of 41 US missile subs before the introduction of the Trident class, which is when the switch was made to US cities.

I sure felt old the day I went into the Royal Navy Submarine Museum and saw something I had designed was on display there. I later checked and all of the pre-Trident boats I had worked on have been recycled into Toyotas or such. Just like the Fair it still seems like yesterday to me.

Somewhere at home I have the pictures I took on that very first sub I visited, somewhere around 1962, tied up in the Hudson. Little did I know that eleven years later I would be working on them. It sure was an exciting time. Funny the things you remember. I'm 5'8" and was glad I wasn't any taller, for those guys were always cracking their skulls on the overhead.

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I can't match you guys, but I got to go through the interior mock-up of the U-boat used in the movie "Das Boot", in Munich...

Well anyway, it was hellish enough for me!

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