EDGEWATER, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A piece of history on the Hudson River has become a neighborhood eyesore.
With the help of Drone Force 2, CBS2 got an up close look at the century old ferry boat that is falling apart and sinking into the water.
If you ask anyone in New Jersey chances are they remember the Binghamton as a popular spot along the river.
Very soon, the historic boat will be completely gone with another one in its place.
Launched in 1905 — and packed with people every day — the Binghamton plied the Hudson River between Hoboken and Manhattan.
As CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, she was in operation until 1967 when all ferry service on the river stopped.
In 1975, the boat permanently docked in Edgewater. It was transformed into a hot spot until 2007, which many still remember.
“They used to have a really nice restaurant up there and we used to hang out on the deck over there and have drinks,” Raffi Korogluyan recalled.
The boat was nearly destroyed by Superstorm Sandy and countless nor’easters.
Paint has been chipping, windows were broken, wood rotted, and the bow is almost underwater. It’s only a hot spot for the birds.
Back in 2012 a few months before Sandy, CBS2’s Lou Young reported that the Binghamton was set to be demolished. Five years later, she’s still afloat.
Neil Gross — who’s family owned and operated the boat back in her hey day — said the battle with the previous restaurant delayed the process.
“He acquired fine after fine after fine, and ultimately had to relinquish his occupancy,” Gross said.
Gross took over the Binghamton, and last year got borough approval to demolish what’s left, and re-build a new 320-foot floating restaurant.
“A barge with a restaurant on it. There will be banquets, there will be a disco, full time entertainment,” he said.
The Binghamton II is set to open by summer 2018, with hopes of bringing new life to Edgewater — though many will be sad to see it finally go.
“We’re very upset, but we’re moving in the right direction and we’re happy for that,” Gross said.
Demolition of the boat has been started, but is on hold right now to allow Atlantic sturgeons — an endangered species — to spawn. It’s set to resume in April and should be done by the end of the summer.