New York City Police Museum
Nearly three years after being walloped by Hurricane Sandy, the New York City Police Museum remains closed — and will stay shuttered for the near future as the city and feds haggle over the cost of repairs.
The lower Manhattan museum has been in limbo ever since a 5-foot storm surge hammered it in October 2012, causing severe structural damage to the basement and first floor.
Emergency repairs have been made at the building, the former First Precinct at 100 Old Slip, but its granite structure still needs major renovation.
“I can’t imagine why it’s taking so long. Three years sure seems like a long time to get this fixed, ” said ex-Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who had the city convert the landmarked site into the museum’s permanent home after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The city says it has been negotiating with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and has to play by its rules if it wants to get the 90 percent reimbursement promised for the project — the final price of which has not been determined.
Some cops blame the de Blasio administration for the foot-dragging.
“It’s just another sign of an atmosphere where the police just don’t count, ” fumed Ed Mullins, president of the sergeants union.
“There’s no excuse why this has taken nearly three years. Three years is more than ample time to build a skyscraper. Certainly they can make repairs to an already established structure in that time.”
Ryan Max, a spokesman for the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs, said the city is “working closely with FEMA to move forward on repairs, ” but admits the museum isn’t close to reopening. “We anticipate that the museum will be able to return to the space in several years, ” Max said.
A FEMA spokesperson said parts of the city’s claim had been approved while others were still wending their way through the system.
David M. Gildea, who chairs the museum’s board, said that after “some tough times of not knowing what the fate of the building would be, … for the first time, we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Gildea said that after recent talks with city leaders, he believes construction should begin “soon, ” adding that in a best-case scenario, he believes the museum could be reopened in two years.
The museum relocated about a half-mile away in 2013 to 45 Wall St., but after its one-year lease expired last October, it was forced to put its more than 100 historical artifacts in storage again.
Besides antique guns, uniforms and other older police equipment, the museum featured a section dedicated to NYPD bravery during the Twin Tower attacks and a “Hall of Heroes” that included the badge of every city cop ever killed in the line of duty.
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