The city's historic Pier A's future is up for grabs

A longtime champion of downtown Manhattan wants to turn Pier A restaurant and some associated businesses into a security and welcoming center for the 4.5 million annual visitors to the Statue of Liberty.

Since 2001, visitors have gone through screening in tall white tents that block the view at the southern end of the park.

“This monstrosity of vinyl has got to go,” said Warrie Price, the president and founder of the Battery Park City Conservancy, which maintains the 25 acres of public parkland at Manhattan’s southern tip. “This cannot be the way to welcome our visitors.”

The city, the state, the federal government, the current leaseholders and the

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