Originally published in The Weekly Packet, May 17, 2018
Blue Hill builders create piece for luxury sky-rise
by Monique Labbe
The shells of three new skyscrapers on Manhattan’s West Side just went up recently, with direct ties to Hewes and Company in Blue Hill.
Marine Projects Manager Gardner Pickering has been heading a team of about 14 workers to create a bridge that will connect the three buildings to a mutual, private underground room.
The luxury condominium development will feature listings starting at $1.9 million and capping off at upwards of $6 million.
The project has been a huge undertaking for Pickering and his crew, who primarily work on boat projects for companies such as Brooklin Boat Yard and WESMAC. With rounded edges and smooth wooden finishings, the structures hold a slight resemblance to the boat projects constructed at Hewes and Company.
Pickering said he got a call from New York architecture company Jaroff Design on a Friday night in November.
“They heard about Hewes and Company on the internet,” he said.
Work on the project started soon after. The first step was to build the steel structure the finished wood will connect to. The 90-foot bridge stretched from one end of the work garage to the other, as the team worked to put it all together. That part of the project took the better part of six months, and the steel was delivered to Manhattan only a few days ago.
“The steel was the real push,” said Pickering. “They really wanted the steel this spring. Now we have a little time to get all the wood pieces together.”
The plan for those pieces is to have them varnished, finished and ready to install by late fall, according to Pickering.
The wood is hard maple with a walnut stain and gloss finishing, a combination Pickering said was chosen “for its looks.”
With the skeleton of the bridge completed, the crew will continue working on the wood pieces for it, while also working on the second leg of the project, a spiral staircase that will come down from the bridge. That work will be the focus of the next couple of months.
“There are a lot of pieces we have to work on,” said Pickering. “But it’s coming together beautifully.”
Pickering and his crew brought in some outside help for the project, including Artisan Boatworks in Rockport, WESMAC, Belmont Boatworks, Ocean Stars Yacht Painting and Poole Construction.
“It’s definitely been a collaborative effort,” he said.