New York City New Deal...

Staten Island Ferries built with New Deal funding

Frank da Cruz Bronx NY Mon Feb 24 20:31:28 2020

Gold Star Mother
Gold Star Mother
Mary Murray
Mary Murray
Miss New York
Miss New York

In 1935-38, three new Staten Island ferryboats were built at United Dry Docks, Inc., on Staten Island with a $3 million grant-loan from the federal Public Works Administration: the Gold Star Mother, the Mary Murray, and the Miss New York, creating 1500 jobs for about a year.

  1. Short, C.W., and R. Stanley Brown, Public Buildings, A Survey of Architecture of Projects Constructed by Federal and Other Governmental Bodies between the Years 1933 and 1939 with the Assistance of the Public Works Administration, United States Government Printing Office, Washington (1939), p.600: Municipal Ferry boats for the New York City Department of Docks: "These ferryboats ply between St. George, Staten Island, and South Ferry, Manhattan. They are the double-end type, 267 feet in over-all length and 66-foot beam, and have a main deck, an upper deck, and a hurrican deck, and will accommodate 3,000 passengers and 34 vehicles each. The main deck has space for vehicles and smoking cabins for men and women. The upper deck consists of 1 large cabin surrounded by an open promenade deck, and the hurrican deck accommodates life rafts, 2 operating bridges, and quarters for the officers. Oil is used for fuel and the speed is 18 miles per hour. The 3 boats were completed in in April 1938 at a total construction cost of $2,778,648 and a project cost of $2,912,222."
  2. Pappas, Phillip, The story behind the Gold Star Mother ferryboat, Staten Island Advance, 20 May 2015.
  3. 3 New Streamlined Ferryboats To Go on the Staten Island Run, New York Times, 11 Oct 1935, p.27: "3 New Streamilined Ferryboats To Go on the Staten Island Run: "The city will build three new stream-lined ferryboats for service on the Battery-Staten Island run, F.J.H. Kracke, Commissioner of Plant and Structures, announced yesterday. Construction of the boats was made possible by an allotment of $3,000,000 in PWA under a loan-and-grant arrangement. The agreement was approved yesterday bye the Board of Estimate."
  4. Ferry Contract Awarded, New York Times, 15 Dec 1935 p.151: "A contract has been awarded to the United Dry Docks, Inc., for the construction of three steel, semi-streamlined ferryboats to cast a total of $2,775,000 and to be used in the Manhattan-Staten Island ferry service, the Department of Plant and Structures announced yesterday. The city will pay for the construction through a PWA loan which was granted several months ago."
  5. Ferryboats Make Jobs, New York Times, 12 Jan 1936, p.128: "Construction of three semi-streamlined boats for the Battery-Staten Island line of the city's ferry system, which is to start at once, will provide emplyment for at least 1,500 ship workers, F.J.H. Krackle, Commissioner of Plant and Structures, informed Mayor La Guardia yesterday. Contracts for the three boats were formally signed on Friday between the city and the United Ship Building and Drydock Corporation. The vessels, which will cost $2,736,000, will be built at the corporation's plant at Mariners Harbor, S.I. They are to be paid for out of a PWA loan obtained for the purpose."
  6. New Ferries Really 'She's'—Three Get Feminine Names, Brooklyn Times Union, 28 March 1937, p.28: "PWA provided 45 percent of the funds for the boats, which will cost $912,000 each ... they will have a capacity of 3,000 passengers and 34 vehicles. They will displace three boats built in 1905."
  7. Mayor Dedicates a New Ferryboat, New York Times, 8 May 1937, p.21: "Mayor La Guardia dedicated the new city ferryboat 'Gold Star Mother,' which will run between Manhattan and Richmond at Mariners Harbor, S.I., yesterday ... Arthur S. Tuttle, State PWA engineer, said the Federal Government has contributed $1,397,250 for the construction of the three new ferries of thiech the Gold Star Mother is the first. Mayor La Guardia said that the United States Attorney General had construed a ferryboat as a building in order to make the PWA loan possible."
  8. 500 at Launching of $912,000 Ferry Boat, New York Daily News, 4 June 1937 (Brooklyn, section 23): Charlotte Murray of Flushing smacked a champagne bottle on the nose of a $912,000 streamlined ferry boat yesterday and immortalized in city records a Revolutionary heroine. The new municipal ship, second of three, is the Mary Murray... [who] beguiled British brass hats with wine and cakes—and covered the retreat of Gen. George Washington from the Battle of Long Island. Mary Murray was Charlotte Murray's great-great grandmother."
  9. Ferryboat is launched, New York Times, 21 December 1937, p.20: "Miss New York, the new municipal ferryboat built by the United Shipbuilding Corporation at an approximate cost of $1,000,000, was launched yesterday at Mariners Harbor, S.I ... The Miss New York is a sister ship to the Gold Star Mother and the Mary Murray, also being built by the United for the city."
  10. New Ferryboat in Service, New York Times, 28 Feb 1938, p.3: "The city's new $1,000,000 ferryboat, the Mary Murray, named after the revolutionary war heroine, was put into service at South Ferry yesterday afternoon at 4 o'clock." Apparently it was christened in June, but not put into service until the following February.
  11. $3,000,000 PWA Job Starts Here Today, New York Times, 13 July 1938, p.9 (last paragraph) "The PWA also has aided the Staten Island communication system by financing the construction of three new ferry boats in service between South Ferry and St. George. It provided $3,125,000 man hours of work."
  12. PWA Projects in New York City 1934-1939, Docket #1085, Ferry Boat, $1,296,675, 1938/04/07 (no further information available, the PWA non-federal project descriptions are lost; only the dockets remain).