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.