Author Archives: Earl Johnson

Why Background Checks for Employers Are Important

Why Background Checks for Employers Are Important

In today’s dynamic and fast-paced business environment, employers are constantly on the lookout for talent that can drive their organizations forward. However, finding the right fit goes beyond just skills and experience. Background checks have become a crucial part of the hiring process, ensuring that prospective employees not only bring the necessary qualifications but also align with the company’s values and safety standards. Here are several compelling reasons why background checks are vital for employers.

Ensuring Workplace Safety

One of the primary reasons employers conduct background checks is to maintain a safe working environment. Employees with a history of violent behavior or criminal activity can pose a serious threat to their colleagues and the organization as a whole. By thoroughly vetting candidates, employers can identify red flags that might indicate a potential risk. This is especially critical in industries where employees work closely with vulnerable populations, such as healthcare, education, and childcare.

Protecting Company Reputation

A company’s reputation is one of its most valuable assets. Hiring an individual with a problematic background can have severe repercussions, including damage to the company’s public image and loss of trust among clients and partners. For instance, a financial firm hiring an individual with a history of fraud can lead to significant financial losses and a tarnished reputation. Background checks help mitigate these risks by ensuring that candidates uphold the integrity and values of the organization.

Enhancing the Quality of Hires

Background checks are instrumental in verifying the accuracy of a candidate’s resume and application. It’s not uncommon for applicants to exaggerate their qualifications or hide past employment issues. By conducting thorough checks, employers can verify educational credentials, past employment, and professional licenses, ensuring that they are hiring individuals who are genuinely qualified for the role. This, in turn, enhances the overall quality of hires, leading to better job performance and productivity.

Reducing Employee Turnover

Hiring the wrong candidate can be a costly mistake, often leading to high turnover rates. Employees who are not a good fit for the company’s culture or who have hidden behavioral issues are more likely to leave or be terminated, resulting in additional hiring costs and disruptions to the team. Background checks help identify candidates who are more likely to stay with the company long-term, thus reducing turnover and fostering a more stable workforce.

Compliance with Legal Requirements

Certain industries are legally required to perform background checks on prospective employees. For example, roles in finance, healthcare, and education often have strict regulations mandating criminal record checks, credit checks, and verification of professional licenses. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in legal penalties and fines. By conducting background checks, employers ensure they are in compliance with industry-specific laws and regulations, protecting themselves from potential legal issues.

Preventing Fraud and Theft

Employee fraud and theft can have devastating effects on a business. Background checks can reveal past criminal activity related to theft, embezzlement, or fraud, allowing employers to make informed hiring decisions. This is particularly important for positions that involve handling sensitive financial information or valuable company assets. By screening for these red flags, employers can safeguard their resources and reduce the risk of internal fraud.

Building Trust Among Employees

A rigorous background check process not only protects the company but also builds trust among current employees. When employees know that their colleagues have been thoroughly vetted, it fosters a sense of security and trust within the team. This can lead to a more positive and collaborative work environment, where employees feel safe and supported.


In conclusion, background checks are an essential tool for employers in today’s competitive job market. They provide a layer of security that helps protect the company, its employees, and its clients from potential risks. By ensuring that candidates have the right qualifications, a clean history, and a good fit for the company culture, background checks contribute to higher quality hires, reduced turnover, and a safer, more trustworthy workplace. As businesses continue to evolve, the importance of thorough background screening processes cannot be overstated. Employers who invest in comprehensive background checks are better positioned to build strong, reliable, and successful teams.

Common Types of Financial Fraud Business Owners Need to Be Concerned About

Common Types of Financial Fraud Business Owners Need to Be Concerned About

In today’s fast-paced business environment, financial fraud poses a significant risk to companies of all sizes. Business owners must be vigilant and aware of the various forms of fraud that can undermine their operations. Understanding these threats is the first step in developing robust preventive measures. Here are some of the most common types of financial fraud that business owners should be concerned about:

1. Embezzlement

Embezzlement occurs when employees steal money or other assets entrusted to them. This can happen in various ways, such as skimming off the top, creating fake vendor accounts, or manipulating financial records. Embezzlement often goes unnoticed for extended periods, especially if the perpetrator is in a position of trust.

Preventive Measures:

  • Implementing strict internal controls.
  • Conducting regular audits.
  • Segregating duties among employees to prevent a single individual from controlling multiple financial processes.

2. Payroll Fraud

Payroll fraud is one of the most common forms of employee theft, involving actions such as falsifying time sheets, adding ghost employees to the payroll, or claiming unearned overtime. This type of fraud can significantly inflate a company’s payroll expenses.

Preventive Measures:

  • Utilizing automated time-tracking systems.
  • Regularly reconciling payroll records.
  • Conducting surprise payroll audits.

3. Invoice Fraud

Invoice fraud happens when fraudulent invoices are submitted for payment. This can involve fictitious vendors, inflated invoices from real vendors, or duplicate invoices. This type of fraud can drain company resources and often involves collusion between internal and external parties.

Preventive Measures:

  • Verifying all invoices with purchase orders and delivery receipts.
  • Establish a process for verbally verifying requests to change vendor bank account information.
  • Implementing a multi-step approval process for large payments.
  • Conducting vendor audits.

4. Expense Reimbursement Fraud

Employees may submit false or inflated expense reports, claiming personal expenses as business-related or exaggerating the cost of legitimate expenses. This type of fraud is particularly common in companies with lenient expense reporting policies.

Preventive Measures:

  • Requiring detailed receipts for all expense claims.
  • Setting clear policies for what constitutes a reimbursable expense.
  • Review and verify expense reports thoroughly.

5. Check Fraud

Check fraud includes activities such as forging signatures, altering checks, or using stolen checks to make unauthorized payments. This can result in substantial financial losses and damage to a company’s reputation.

Preventive Measures:

  • Using secure, tamper-evident checks.
  • Reconciling bank statements promptly.
  • Implementing positive pay systems that match issued checks against those presented for payment.

6. Procurement Fraud

Procurement fraud involves manipulation in the purchasing process, such as kickbacks, bid rigging, or overbilling by suppliers. This can lead to higher costs and lower-quality goods or services.

Preventive Measures:

  • Enforcing a competitive bidding process.
  • Segregating procurement responsibilities.
  • Conducting regular supplier audits and reviews.

7. Financial Statement Fraud

This type of fraud involves the deliberate misrepresentation of financial information to deceive stakeholders about the company’s financial health. It can include actions like overstating revenues, understating liabilities, or inflating asset values.

Preventive Measures:

  • Ensuring rigorous internal and external audits.
  • Maintaining transparency in financial reporting.
  • Implementing strong corporate governance practices.

8. Cyber Fraud

With increasing reliance on digital platforms, cyber fraud has become a significant concern. It includes phishing, hacking, ransomware attacks, and fraudulent electronic transactions. Cybercriminals target company funds and sensitive information, posing a severe threat to business continuity.

Preventive Measures:

  • Employing robust cybersecurity measures.
  • Training employees on cybersecurity best practices.
  • Establishing multi-factor authentication (MFA) on all highly sensitive accounts (banking, email, etc)
  • Regularly updating software and systems to protect against vulnerabilities.


Financial fraud can severely impact a company’s bottom line and reputation. Business owners must be proactive in implementing comprehensive measures to detect and prevent fraudulent activities. Regular audits, robust internal controls, employee training, and a culture of transparency are crucial components in safeguarding against financial fraud. By staying vigilant and informed, business owners can protect their enterprises from the various forms of financial fraud that threaten their success.

The Convergence of Physical Security and Cyber Security

The Convergence of Physical Security and Cyber Security

In an increasingly interconnected world, the lines between physical security and cybersecurity are becoming increasingly blurred. The convergence of these two domains is not just a trend but a necessity, as modern threats often encompass both physical and digital elements. This comprehensive approach ensures a holistic defense strategy that can effectively mitigate risks in today’s complex threat landscape.

The Convergence of Physical and Cyber Threats

Historically, physical security focused on protecting tangible assets like buildings, equipment, and personnel. This included measures such as locks, surveillance cameras, and security guards. Cybersecurity, on the other hand, aimed at safeguarding information and systems from digital threats like hacking, malware, and data breaches.

However, the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), smart devices, and advanced networking technologies has intertwined these two realms. Physical devices are now often connected to networks, making them susceptible to cyber attacks. Conversely, cyber attacks can have physical consequences, such as shutting down critical infrastructure or manipulating security systems.

Key Integration Areas

  1. Access Control Systems Modern access control systems integrate both physical and cybersecurity measures. For instance, biometric scanners and smart cards not only control physical access to buildings but also interact with digital databases to verify identities. A breach in the digital component can compromise physical security, allowing unauthorized access.
  2. Surveillance Systems Surveillance cameras and sensors are now often IP-based, meaning they are connected to the internet and can be accessed remotely. While this enhances monitoring capabilities, it also introduces vulnerabilities. Hackers can potentially gain control of these systems, disable them, or manipulate the footage, which compromises both physical and cybersecurity.
  3. Industrial Control Systems (ICS) Industrial facilities, such as power plants and manufacturing units, use ICS to manage their operations. These systems are increasingly networked for efficiency but are also becoming targets for cyber attacks. A successful breach can lead to physical damage, such as sabotaging machinery or causing explosions.

Integrated Security Strategies

To address these interconnected threats, organizations need to adopt integrated security strategies that encompass both physical and cybersecurity elements. Here are some essential steps:

  1. Unified Risk Assessment Conduct comprehensive risk assessments that consider both physical and digital threats. This holistic approach ensures that all potential vulnerabilities are identified and addressed.
  2. Cross-Disciplinary Teams Establish teams that include both physical security and IT professionals. Collaboration between these experts ensures that security measures are robust and comprehensive, covering all potential attack vectors.
  3. Advanced Monitoring Solutions Deploy advanced monitoring solutions that can detect and respond to both physical and cyber threats in real-time. For example, integrating video surveillance with cybersecurity incident detection systems can provide a more complete picture of security incidents.
  4. Training and Awareness Train employees on the importance of both physical and cybersecurity. Awareness programs should highlight how actions in one domain can impact the other, fostering a culture of security consciousness throughout the organization.
  5. Incident Response Planning Develop and regularly update incident response plans that address both physical and cyber incidents. These plans should include protocols for communication, coordination, and recovery to minimize the impact of any breach.

The Role of Emerging Technologies

Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and blockchain are playing a significant role in enhancing the integration of physical and cybersecurity. AI and ML can analyze vast amounts of data to identify patterns and predict potential threats, allowing for proactive security measures. Blockchain technology, with its decentralized and immutable nature, can secure transactions and communications between physical and digital systems, reducing the risk of tampering and fraud.


In conclusion, the intersection of physical and cybersecurity is a critical area that organizations must address to protect their assets and operations effectively. By adopting integrated security strategies, leveraging emerging technologies, and fostering a culture of security awareness, organizations can build resilient defenses against the multifaceted threats of the modern world. As technology continues to evolve, so too must our approaches to security, ensuring that we stay one step ahead of potential adversaries.

Understanding W-2 Phishing and Its Impact During Tax Season

Understanding W-2 Phishing and Its Impact During Tax Season

As W-2’s are due to employees by the end of January, businesses face not only the annual task of filing tax statements for employees but also an increasing threat from cybercriminals targeting sensitive employee information through W-2 phishing scams. Understanding the risks and implementing preventive measures is crucial to safeguarding your business, ensuring the protection of the personal information of your employees, and protecting employees from potential financial and reputational damage.

What is W-2 Phishing?

W-2 phishing is a type of cyber attack where scammers impersonate company executives or human resources personnel to trick employees into providing copies of W-2 forms or other sensitive personal information. These forms contain valuable data such as Social Security numbers, earnings, and tax withholdings, which are essential for filing tax returns.

How Does W-2 Phishing Work?

  1. Email Spoofing: Cybercriminals send emails that appear to come from company executives or HR departments. These emails typically request that employees provide W-2 forms or other sensitive information urgently. The emails also can target HR departments from other departments, such as finance, to gather the information of multiple employees at once.
  2. Social Engineering: The emails often use urgency or authority to manipulate employees into complying with the request. They may also contain links to fake websites where employees are prompted to enter their login credentials or sensitive information.
  3. Data Theft: Once scammers obtain W-2 forms or personal information, they can use it for various fraudulent activities, including filing false tax returns, identity theft, or selling the data on the DarkWeb.

Impact on Business

W-2 phishing can have serious consequences for businesses such as:

  • Financial Loss: Businesses may incur financial losses due to fraudulent tax filings or legal expenses resulting from identity theft claims.
  • Reputational Damage: A data breach can damage trust and reputation with employees, customers, and stakeholders.
  • Regulatory Penalties: Businesses may face penalties and legal consequences for failing to protect employee information adequately.

Preventive Measures

Protecting your business against W-2 phishing requires a proactive approach:

  1. Employee Training: Educate all employees about phishing scams, emphasizing the importance of verifying email requests for sensitive information before responding. Also make sure that your Finance and HR departments are fully aware of the threat of W-2 phishing during tax season. An annual reminder does not hurt.
  2. Verification Procedures: Establish clear procedures for verifying requests for sensitive information, such as W-2 forms, particularly when received via email or phone.
  3. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Require MFA for accessing systems that contain sensitive employee information to prevent unauthorized access.
  4. Vendor Due Diligence: Verify the security measures of third-party vendors who have access to employee data, such as payroll service providers.


As tax season approaches, businesses must remain vigilant against W-2 phishing scams. By educating employees, enhancing email security measures, and implementing robust verification procedures, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to these cyber threats. Protecting sensitive employee information not only safeguards your business from financial losses and legal liabilities but also preserves trust and credibility with your workforce. Stay informed, stay proactive, and prioritize cybersecurity to defend against W-2 phishing and other evolving cyber threats. Your diligence today can prevent potential disruptions and protect your business’s future.

What Is Financial Fraud?

What Is Financial Fraud?

International criminals entice their victims by offering convincing documents, generally fraudulent, promising substantial sums of money for participating in their scheme. At some point the victim will be asked or directed to provide up front fees to proceed with the transaction.

Financial Instruments generally offered in fraudulent transactions are:
Cryptocurrency Ransom-ware, ICO Theft, Zero Coupon Bonds, Prime Bank Notes, Bank Guarantees, Money Loans or Transfers, Bearer Stock, Precious Metals, Mining Stock, Crude Oil and Major Construction Projects.

The players are unsuspecting businessmen, brokers, bank officers, government agents, notar’s, attorneys, accountants and financial consultants. The perpetrators will associate their activities with trust companies, officers of banks, non-registered banks domiciled in offshore tax havens, and governments agents.

International criminal financial transactions are offered via the Internet, fax and telex. The current choice of delivery is the Internet.(see News Alert). If you or one of your clients are approached or have been caught up in one of these transactions, we suggest that you contact your local FBI office or Interpol. However if you are currently facing criminal prosecution or you are not sure what you are involved in, contact our ICI office as soon as possible.

Why these international criminals are so successful: Legitimate financial transactions are conducted every moment of every day in the world, international trading uses Crypto Currency (Bitcoin), prime bank notes, bonds, stock, bearer stock, letters of credit, government guarantees, insurance policies, euro bonds/currency, trust instruments, interests and currency swaps, commodities and oil. There are over 400 major banks in every tax haven in the world. Many major corporations maintain a presence in these markets for tax deferments, ease of commerce and trading.

Knowledge is paramount: ICI will assist with investigative due-diligence prior to making an investment or financing a project. The international market offers many opportunities for investment. ICI has the ability to investigate and bring to light the total picture. We will develop intelligence on the local business climate, government cover-ups, questionable partners, potential labor problems and development authorities that have been known to be less informative than they should be. ICI operatives are trained to obtain the answers to your questions and provide the information required for the right decisions to be made, prior to a costly venture. Planning for the unknown is always sound advice.

ICI operatives have recovered substantial financial returns for the investors of funds managed by large Capital companies in Europe the United States and other countries, including one of the largest NASD arbitration awards.

Maritime Threats – Knowledge Equates To Safety

Maritime Threats – Knowledge Equates To Safety

Today’s maritime threats are rarely the reef or weather shore. Instead, maritime operators now face a broad range of concerns from the unknown and difficult to predict specter of terrorism to the routine and burdensome imposition of new and changing local, state, and federal regulations.

ICI Investigations offers innovative and cost conscious solutions. Captain Earl Johnson, 200 ton Master USCG and ICI Investigators can provide in depth investigations, security and Maritime protocols to meet your needs.

  • Marine Accident Investigation
  • Maritime VIP Protection
  • Ship appraisals
  • Insurance accident investigations
  • VIP vessel security on board and on patrol
  • 3D Animation and photography for re-enactment of vessel accidents Worldwide service:

ICI provides Investigations and vessel appraisals.

ICI Investigations Appraised the S.S. United States


Sinking barges:

ICI’s Maritime Investigation & Expert Witness Testimony Florida — International Consultants & Investigations (ICI) announces today the favorable conclusion of a complex maritime hull claim where ICI was contracted to provide investigative and expert testimony.

As the lead maritime investigator on the claim, Captain Earl R. Johnson explains that while litigation outcomes are always uncertain, the thoroughness of ICI’s maritime investigation and its learned testimony create a measure of confidence in those having to predict litigation outcomes. “It’s what we do,” Captain Johnson explains. “We’re not surveyors and we bring a different set of skills to the table.

We have a lot of experience unfolding complex maritime incidents and that’s where we shine and where we can help lawyers shine too.”

With offices in New York and Florida and with experience working throughout the world ICI is fully capable of providing discrete investigative services and Expert Witness Testimony for Maritime incidents.


The purpose of this investigation is to conduct Forensic review and analysis of supplied documents, photos, and statements provided and additional information gathered from subsequent Forensic Research.

Case Related to:

Maritime casualty and subsequent sinking of barges DAR 1 and DAR 2 of the coast of Cape Vidal on October 21, 2008.

The scope of work includes:

1) Forensic review of all photos and documented observations

2) Forensic review and analysis of provided documents with investigators notes.

3) Supporting documents discovered from Internet research

4) Investigators detailed report

Earl R. Johnson, DM, Cll Certified International Investigator 200 ton Masters License, USCG.


Analysis of sustainability and useful Economic Life Conducted by International Consultants & Investigations. The following is a preliminary report which examines the sustainability and useful (economic) life of Pier A, the historic iconic landmark located on the waterfront in the vicinity of Battery Park; lower Manhattan, New York City.

A review was undertaken to: (a). understand the historical context of Pier A and its place within the New York City landscape, (b). what has been done to renovate, rebuild and conserve this national historic landmark, (c). interview knowledgeable parties associated with the renovations over the last 10-15 years based upon their knowledge, expertise, and experience in the engineering and architectural concept of the Pier A renovation, and (d). attempt to determine a reasonable “useful use value” of Pier A going forward through the next 50 years.

This report discusses the components of the renovations and improvements which will assist in predicting a reasonable duration of time that the owners, operators, and investors of Pier A might expect this asset to be usable, with normal repairs and maintenance. A realistic useful use economic service life prediction depends on assembling information which is inherently challenging due to the existence of several successive layers of parties including architects, engineers and project managers who have labored over the various renovations that began, stopped , restarted, stopped and finally is near completion as of this writing. If information isn’t available or found in available records, then it became necessary to locate knowledgeable people who participated in the renovation at an earlier time. The report’s reliability depends on the quality of this input. The future sustainability of Pier A largely depends on the dynamic of the tenant developer and Battery Park City Authority’s ability to manage, maintain and be responsive to the public’s enjoyment of the renovated facility. Without question Pier A will reinvigorate the area known as Battery Park. Since 1992, the City of New York recognized that it owned a strategically situated landmark that was in danger of extinction.

At that moment, the existing Pier A, had been allowed to reach the end of its useful life. Pier A dated back to 1884-1886, when it was built by George Sears Greene, Jr., same engineer who had just completed the Brooklyn Bridge. Either the pier had to be replaced, renovated, or sold to a developer. Various alternatives were studied and contemplated. Pier A had been declared a “national historic landmark” in 1976 so incentives and restrictions played a significant role in the available options.

Pier A sits on a special piece of property that lays on the southwest tip of Manhattan, literally the closest landmass to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island .The challenges presented by the environment; hostile weather, including but not limited to: salt water, salt air, currents and wind are natural factors that a developer, engineer, and architect must contend. The condition of the pier, above and below the surface needed to be assessed in order to evaluate deterioration and aging. This assessment would assist in determining what improvements would be necessary. Ultimately Pier A’s fate depended on city planners, public opinion and the creativity of developers.

More recently in the 1980’s, Pier A had been a tie up for police patrol boats. Prior to that, Pier A was a fireboat station. For fireboats which stemmed from the days that the FDNY shared the facility with the old Department of Docks. In the early days Pier A served as a place to quarantine arriving immigrants for processing. Pier A was used as a place to welcome visiting dignitaries to the United States. Surviving century old photographs depict a bustling area with Pier A hosting numerous vessels including steam ships, sail boats and ferries. Pier A was always in the midst of New York City nautical history. Pier A’s historical context is the driving impetus, perhaps, to decide over five years ago to utilize the existing iconic structure. This decision provides a seamless historic connection to the City of New York. The oldest surviving pier in New York City would therefore have a future; a useful use for the next 40 years, for the following reasons:

Pier A is being transformed into New York City’s largest restaurant. The unique location of the iconic Pier A and its distinctive iconic clock tower sits at the convergence of the Hudson River, East River, and New York Harbor. The transformation carefully preserved the Victorian architecture with three planned restaurants including an outside plaza for eating and sightseeing, superior space for catering events and an historical information center. This is a destination second to none offered to locals and tourists. The “pier” is adjacent to the Battery Fort, Jewish Holocaust Museum and American Indian Museum which attracts visitors in the shadow of the “new” Freedom Tower. Brand new retail venues including restaurants, schools and residences along an amazing esplanade surround the renovated pier. The embarkation slips for ferries traveling to Staten Island, the Statue of Liberty and the Ellis Island complex provide year round throngs of pedestrian traffic and constantly arriving tourists being dropped off by buses and taxis.

Pier A and Renovation

Pier A was originally built in 1884-1886 as a building which housed the Department Of Docks and New York Harbor Police. There were once over 150 docks and piers in New York City. Pier A is the oldest surviving pier. The original structure is a three level rectangle shaped building extending 300 feet out into the water. It is located at Liberty Place at the southwest tip of Manhattan, just north of the old battery fort with water slips extending the length of both the north and south side of the pier.

The pier deck is now completely renovated with reinforced concrete, pavers, and wooden timbers. All new metal barriers adorn the perimeter of the pier with a surrounding promenade that extends around the whole perimeter of the north, west and south sides of the pier. The building has been completely restored inside and out. Rotted wood has been removed inside and out with new supporting beams replacing rotting wood or supporting old weakened wood.

New fittings and joints have been installed wherever necessary. The whole building is clad in 20,000 square feet of structural steel, galvanized copper, lead metal siding and wood. An earlier siding was installed during a previous partial renovation in 1989.

Pier A engineers have utilized a paint formula which would last and be more impervious to the weather, water and salt environment. The Richter Group formulated a hybrid system of fluoro polymer and flexible acrylic technology that should prove durable in the Pier A environment for 15-20 years. A similar building which used the same paint formula has already demonstrated 13 years of durability and is still going strong.

Improvements below the building on the deck and below the surface of Pier A resulted from assessments and suggestions made by Langan Engineering in 2003 and 2007-8. These suggestions included refilling mortar between stone blocks and restoring several pilings or reinforcing pilings that had been chemically altered by brackish chloride levels through the years. The building utilizes the deck of the concrete and timbers constructed in the late 1800 ’s.

The pier and building on top of it was constructed contemporaneously. Most pier foundations are built to last approximately 50 years. This particular foundation was constructed in a similar fashion to the Brooklyn Bridge just to the East of Pier A. The builders utilized the same machinery, crew and civil engineer. They employed similar technology in constructing the pier foundations.

This report has incorporated information furnished by the engineers who made recommendations and suggestions which were purportedly incorporated into renovation. Renovation and installation of new load bearing pilings and restoration of reinforced concrete at minimum 50 years to the Pier’s service life can be estimated on similar structures cited by engineers that were interviewed for this report.

One engineer who worked on Pier A indicated that typical marine structures are designed for a 50 year useful service life.

The variables depend on the environment where the pier is located and general maintenance. Predictable abnormal weather conditions are a factor that has been built into the pier improvements within the experience of the last 100 years. Structural repairs have been performed at Pier A on the superstructure over time. Presuming the renovations have followed the suggestions set out in the more recent Langan Engineering Report, the serviceable useful life of Pier A below the surface is expected to last until 2065.

Maintenance tests are normally recommended to continually diagnose the condition of the structure including chloride penetration tests and concrete compressive strength tests of mass concrete. Today, Pier A’s concrete no longer suffers from the spoiling. The concrete, cement, and stone have been repaired during renovations over the last 4 years. Observation of some metal structural deterioration due to corrosion of the metal cladding on the deck surface was seen recently. Despite repairs, superstructure elements continue to deteriorate due to the hostile environment. The currents are especially treacherous. Hurricane Sandy apparently did little or no damage below the surface of Pier A.

It is worth repeating that the useful use of Pier A structure will always depend on continuous maintenance and repair.

Pier A Building

Pier A consists approximately 36,900 Square feet, with 35,800 square feet of leasable space. The first floor is being fitted for a huge restaurant featuring an oyster bar with spectacular views of the Hudson River, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the expansive waterfront. The inner walls are covered in some places by ornamental decorative tin type metal cladding of another age. The machines imprinted these impressions no longer exist. Glass throughout the first floor is double pane. Large double pane glass panels line the outside walls and permit inhibited spectacular views. Sliding glass doors are placed to encourage an open air experience during warm days and nights.

Pier A Deck

The Pier A Deck consists of the structure below the building and an outer promenade that surrounds Pier A except for the street approach.

Pier A Approach

The Pier A approach provides vehicular and pedestrian linkage between Battery Place and the Pier A entrance. Under construction presently is a park just to the south of Pier A.

A. South

A water slip abuts Pier A to the south as well as an attached reinforced cement dock which remains from the early part of the 20th century. The WW II American Merchant Mariners Memorial rises out of the water about 40 yards from Pier A and a new promenade which has been built to house an outdoor plaza. This plaza will host outdoor dining and sightseeing. To the south, in close proximity, is the red-bricked circular Battery Fort. West of that landmark, ferries are coming and going with their passengers heading to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Manhattan day cruises.

C. North

A narrow water slip is situated against the north side of Pier A and its north side promenade. The view north from the Pier A is of a more modern Museum of Jewish Heritage and Holocaust Memorial. Also meandering towards Pier A is The Battery Park Esplanade which approaches Pier A, as another convenient access to Pier A for pedestrians and bikers. One can enjoy spectacular views of the Hudson River waterfront while walking from the new Freedom Tower to Pier A.

Promenade Surrounding the Pier A first floor on the north, west and south is a wide promenade which is similar to a cruise ship walkway. Pedestrians on the promenade are protected by metal and wire railings that feature glass inserts.

These railings are also installed on the inside of the promenade to keep visitors safe from a narrow mote of water below exposing the side of Pier A and the bulwark which was built in the late part of the 19th century. The promenade is new and built to withstand the rigors of New York’s harsher winters for the next 30-40 years. The railings are galvanized to make them impervious to the salt air and poor weather.

Clock Tower

Photographs of Pier A’s clock tower are readily recognizable to visitors, whether locals or tourists. The clock and bell with its’ four faces was a gift of the president of U.S. Steel to New York City in 1919, It was installed as the first memorial to WW I veterans.

Today the clock is and its renovated mechanics remain in the tower awaiting visitors who will learn its history at Pier A’s information center. The old winding staircase that leads to a fourth level clock tower is under renovation and the stanchion where the bell rests is being prepared for many more years of service.

First Floor

The flooring is fitted with durable wood floorboards. A complete renovation of the interior was performed over the last four years including extensive structural repairs including replacement of rotted wood and weakened beams. New steel elements were replaced and off site Dutch repairs to all the windows were performed. Since Hurricane Sandy it was necessary to replace wiring and flooring that was damaged. Security cameras and an expansive sprinkler system have been installed. Weather impervious wiring was installed after the hurricane. All renovations considered preservation of the historical nature of Pier A. Throughout the building is evidence of wooden veneer, plaster cornice work and original molding restoration.

Second Floor The second floor will house an upscale 100 seat restaurant with a newly installed fire place. The second floor will host special events.

Third Floor

A bar is being built on the third floor with offices.


The roof has been replaced at least three times during the last 127 years. In the recent renovation a copper tin roof was installed utilizing a more modern gutter system designed to last well over thirty years. A new geothermal HVAC system has been submerged in the Hudson River underneath the pier on the south side. A cage was constructed along with new piles to support the underwater cooling unit.

Preliminary Conclusions

The information gathered for this report has reviewed all components of the present renovations. Each phase of the renovation has been geared to sustainability. The final phase which has been underway over the past year ought to be completed in 90 days. The developers are fitting the new space for three restaurants and a convenient historical information center. The restaurateur has a solid track record of owning and operating over twenty top flight restaurants that have demonstrated a remarkable success story in lower Manhattan. Plans are to install various eateries including a unique oyster bar and upscale 100 seat restaurant and bar. The public will have easy access to the outside promenade where sightseeing will be available as well as food and beverage service. The public will also find the first floor inviting to gain historical information about Pier A and other local attractions.

At the moment restaurants are springing up along The Hudson River Esplanade that follows along the western edge of lower Manhattan. Retail shops and restaurants are being built in and around One World Trade Center a.k.a. the Freedom Tower. This adds up to a unique center of activity drawing visitors like a magnet to the lower end of Manhattan. All information available indicates that the restaurateur is determined to build out a destination that will be a lasting memory for visitors whether they are tourists or locals. The concept has a great potential to contend for the New York City food and entertainment dollar for many years to come.

Pier A has a sustainable useful use for the next 35-40 years. Sustainability depends on continuous maintenance, a visitor’s sense of security and adjustments to market trends by the restaurant owner. The engineers and architects selected by the Battery Park City Authority have handed over Pier A to the restaurant developer and Dermot Company to steward this unique property through the next 35- 40 years.