Blue Hill company builds bridges for Manhattan sky-rises

This hard maple cladding, handcrafted by a crew of 16 at Hewes & Company in Blue Hill, will be trucked to Manhattan in the fall to cover steel pedestrian bridges connecting three high-rise residential buildings on Riverside Drive.

BLUE HILL — Hewes & Company is nearing completion on cladding for steel pedestrian bridges that will connect three luxury sky-rise buildings on Riverside Drive in Manhattan.

“The first bridge is already installed in Manhattan,” said Gardner Pickering, who leads Hewes’ marine division.

Hewes & Company has been building custom homes, cabinetry and millwork and doing renovations since 1975. A marine division, offering millwork and finishing services to the marine industry, was added in 2006.

“It’s been quite a project,” Pickering said of the sky-rise project. “They wanted the bridge to look like a strip plank canoe. It is very much like one of my boat projects.”

Pickering said hard maple was chosen for the bridge. To be specific, the client chose LEED-certified hard maple. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

Materials that are LEED certified minimize a project’s carbon footprint, the builder explained.

Hard maple was “chosen for its looks,” Pickering said. “We had to source everything as local as possible.” A crew of 16 has been crafting each piece of wood and forming it together.

“The wood cladding will be varnished, crated up and shipped to the building in early fall,” Pickering said.

Meanwhile, Hewes will start construction this month on a spiral staircase, which will be affixed to a bridge.

Jaroff Design, a New York firm that provides custom architectural metal and glass design and fabrication services to the architecture, interior design construction and art communities, enlisted Hewes.

“Hewes was chosen after a lot of research and vetting to provide wood cladding for an 88-foot bridge going up on Riverside Drive,” said Suzanne Choate, a spokeswoman for Jaroff.

“This walkway will carry residents from one building to another,” Choate said. “They’re beautifully designed, well-appointed buildings.”

Indeed, the most modest offering, an 820-square-foot, one-bedroom, one bath is selling for $1.9 million, according to the Waterline Square sales gallery. That residence is in the Two Waterline Square building and also comes with a northeast exposure.

You could purchase a 3-bedroom, 3.5-bath, a total of 2,466 square feet, for $6,725,000 at One Waterline Square.

An artist’s rendering of the pedestrian bridges.

A description of the property reads thusly:

“Featuring a staggering ensemble of design talent across three towers on the Hudson River, grounded within a new park, Waterline Square represents an unprecedented approach to urban living,” the property website states. “Residents benefit from the rare construct of a waterfront master plan consisting of thoughtful residences with sky-high views, a robust amenity offering, retail and a dynamic new park setting, creating a truly special place to live.”

“Steps from Columbus Circle and Midtown, yet offering the warmth of a truly residential enclave, Waterline Square is perfectly situated where Midtown meets the Upper West Side, the property website states. “With convenience and comfort at one’s fingertips, Waterline Square indulges residents with the luxury of ease. The quality of light and air coincides with high floor homes along the water, amenity spaces to satisfy the broadest range of leisure and wellness pursuits, and a setting amidst tremendous greenspace, all within magnificent architecturally significant buildings. No consideration was spared in crafting these truly exceptional homes.”

Each skyscraper has been designed by a different New York firm:

One Waterline Square is the work of Richard Meier and Partners Architects.

Two Waterline Square was designed by Kohn Pederson Fox Associates.

Vinoly designed Three Waterline Square.

The entire Waterline Square project is supposed to be finished the summer of 2020.

Pickering said Jaroff found Hewes through a trade organization, Maine Built Boats.

“We looked at several teams and several options,” spokeswoman Choate said. “Because of their expertise and what we thought their business culture was, we asked them to participate in this project with us.”

Cranes will be used to lay the hard maple cladding on top of the steel frame, which was supplied by another Maine company, Newport Industrial Fabrication, according to Pickering.

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.

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