Historic Ferryboat Binghamton to be Broken Up

When the New York Times features your obituary on the front page, it probably means that you are dead. Sadly, that is the case of with historic ferryboat Binghamton. Yesterday, the New York Times featured an article “Final Departure for 111-Year-Old Hudson Ferryboat” which describes how the flooded and collapsing ferry will be broken up and removed from its berth on the Hudson River in Edgewater, NJ starting next month. The demolition and removal is expected to cost about $500,000 and to take three months. 

The Binghamton was a ferryboat that operated from 1905 to 1967 transporting passengers across the Hudson River between Manhattan and Hoboken. She was one of six identical screw-propelled double-ended ferryboats built by Newport News Shipbuilding in 1904-05 for the Hoboken Ferry Company of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad. She carried 986 passengers plus vehicles. Binghamton was operated as a floating restaurant from 1975 to 2007, moored on the Hudson at Edgewater, NJ. The US Department of the Interior added her to the National Register of Historic Places on July 9, 1982.  The Binghamton  was the last steam ferry afloat built to serve New York Harbor. Within a few months she will be only a memory.

The demise of the Binghamton began at least five years ago. In 2011, the owner requested a permit to demolish the ferry. While the permit was not granted, in 2012, Hurricane Irene started the demolition, causing structural damage and flooding the Binghamton. The next year, Superstorm Sandy continued what Irene had started, leaving the boat a sunken derelict. Last year, we were requested to post a public notice seeking interested parties to remove and restore the Binghamton. We did so, but not, not surprisingly, no one came forward.

Will Van Dorp on the Tugster blog has done a fine job documenting the progressive destruction of the Binghamton.  Go here to see more.

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4 Responses to Historic Ferryboat Binghamton to be Broken Up

  1. Willy says:

    While it is sad to see nautical history depart. It is also too much of a money pit to make the ship anything more than a beached icon. Having had concrete poured in her ballast tends to end a boats ability to be useful in any other form. Far cheaper to build new than to resurrect an eye sore. The owners probably became aware of this. As well as any buyers that had thoughts of trying to raise her.

  2. Jan Christensen says:

    Always sad to hear when shipbreakers take charge of a vessel.

  3. ws says:

    It’s too bad the local newspaper owned by a large news corporation has no interest whatsoever in the ongoing Binghampton saga.

    -The days of the hat wearing, booze drinking, cigarette smoking, manual typewriter pounding, inquisitive, newsman are over..

    We’re lucky to have Old Salt Blog, Tugster Blog…

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