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Do you remember when cars were allowed on the Staten Island Ferry? 18 vintage photos of the legendary boat

STATEN ISLAND, NY – The Staten Island ferry is arguably the district’s landmark.

Since 1817, the orange boat has made the five-mile hike across New York Harbor in about 25 minutes.

Today, the boat commutes an average of 70,000 passengers from Staten Island to Manhattan every day, attracting tourists looking for an unobstructed view of the Statue of Liberty.

But the ferries the Staten Islanders are used to didn’t always look like they do today. Here are some vintage photos of the boats through the decades.

1979 Photo in advance: Commuters on the ferry.

It is a unique honor to have a Staten Island ferry named after you. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last month that the third new Staten Island Ferry boat being built in Florida will be named after Dorothy Day, a Staten Island journalist and social activist who served decades serving the hungry and needy on the county’s south coast helped. The other two are called Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis – after the New Dorp native who died at the age of 24 rescuing a Polish soldier in Afghanistan – and the Sandy Ground for the historic community populated by freed slaves in Rossville.

On the way to Manhattan

Navy personnel at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal during Fleet Week 1990, waiting for the ferry to Manhattan. (Staten Island Advance / Steve Zaffarano) Fleet Week 1990 Staten Island AdvanceStaten Island Advance

These Navy men were socially aloof before it was cool.

Staten Island ferry

1982 Advance photo: Ferry service is delayed during a storm, but early commuters crowd the boat at 5 p.m.

Passengers who once stood shoulder to shoulder in the ferry terminals and loading areas now have difficulty keeping a distance of two meters between them.

Staten Island ferry

The American Legion was damaged after a crash in 1981.

Staten Island ferry

Leonard Piekarsky, then director of the Bureau of Ferries, investigates the damage to the ferry’s American legion after encountering a Norwegian freighter in 1981.

Staten Island ferry

1991 Photo in advance: Governor Herbert H. Lehman’s ferry loaded with commuters.

Staten Island ferry

1981 Pre-shot: Mayor Ed Koch breaks a bottle of New York water against the rail on the main passenger deck of the new Barberi Ferry. Next to him is Eleanor Barberi, widow of the late Curtis High School teacher and soccer coach.

Staten Island ferry

Cross the harbor cruise with a clown from the Cumeezis, New York-based clown troupe. April 1981.

Staten Island ferry

Preliminary photo 1982: vehicles on the ferry.

There was once a time when ferry passengers could park their cars on the lower level of the boat while it was sailing across the harbor.

Staten Island ferry

Members of the Clive Thompson Dance Company pose on Governor Herbert H. Lehman’s ferry in this 1985 preview photo.

Staten Island ferry

A commuter checks the bus lists at the Staten Island ferry terminal in this 1951 photograph.

Staten Island ferry

In this 1951 file photo, bidding for the Hudson Ferry (background) begins on the deck of the St. George Ferry, which is moored at Pier 7 in Tompkinsville.

Fun Fact: The Hudson and St. George were bought by the Delaware River Authority Corp. bought for $ 104,000. This was the first time ferries from New York City had been auctioned.

Staten Island ferry

The Samuel I Newhouse Ferry can be seen in this 1982 Advance photo.

Staten Island ferry

1970 Pre-shot: Exterior view of the Staten Island ferry terminal.

Vintage ferry

The bride and groom prepare to tie the knot as members of the wedding party, friends and relatives watch aboard a Staten Island ferry. Ferries Vintage Staten Island Ferry Staten Island AdvanceStaten Island Advance

Many weddings were photographed on the ferry – for couples who want an unconventional memory of their special day.

Time capsule: Staten Island

February 14, 2007: Just a short time after the Valentine’s Day storm, some rays of sunshine brighten the horizon for the newlyweds John Gonzalez and Leonora Ramirez of St. George, who married John J. Marchi on the 4pm boat.Staten Island Advance

Staten Island ferry

1991 Photo in advance: The Andrew J. Barberi ferry.

Feeling nostalgic? Take a trip back in time with these other Staten Island stories:


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