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Ferry Building Update

Historic Nave Restored
Dylan Berry of Plant Construction, Project Manager – Ferry Building Construction Project

Bay Crossings recently met with developer Chris Meany, boss of the $80-million plus restoration of the Ferry Building ("The Ferry Building Guy", Bay Crossings, April 2001). Within minutes, Mr. Big had fobbed us off on Dylan Berry, Project Manager for the job, who here gives us an update on how things are going.

We started demolition around January, mid January of this year. We’re scheduled to complete the project around September of 2002. When we took over the building, it was still occupied by a lot of tenants. There was quite a bit to do in terms of trying to start construction while the building was still occupied so it was slow going to begin with. The final tenants moved out about two months ago and deconstruction began in earnest.

We’re in the process now of doing what we call the hard and soft demolition, soft being the walls and fixtures and finishes, hard demolition being removing the actual structure to allow for structural improvement and allow to open up the building plan itself.

What was: the Ferry Building’s Nave before conversion into office space

When the building was originally built, ferry passengers would enter from a lower floor and go up a set of to what I like to think of as a train station on the water. You have a big atrium space the whole length of the building. Sometime in the 50’s they covered it up and we’re going to restore it. To do it, we’ll be taking out one whole floor out almost the entire length of the building.

Throughout the rest of the building, the historic sections are about half intact and we’re dealing with that, too. The entire north wall will be reconstructed to match the

What is: the Nave gutted.
What will be: architect’s rendering of the Nave when renovation is complete. Photo credit: Image courtesy of SMWM/BCV Architects/Page & Turnbull; © Jennifer Johnson

historic detail of the south end of the building. When the building was originally built, these brick archways and the cornice material above it were symmetrical. They were removed at some point, so we’re going to restore that, too.

Somewhere in the neighborhood of 110 people are working on the project now and we’re on track to open on time in September 2002.

When the building was built, ferry passengers would enter on the second floor to embark or disembark on the ferries. A historic mosaic floor, which has been covered and damaged over the years, will be restored in both areas of the building.
Brick archways and the cornice material above them are being restored to their original symmetrical condition.
The Alameda/Oakland ferries as seen through a gaping hole in the Ferry Building.