The Department of Docks stood on Pier A, Manhattan's southmost Hudson River pier. This utilitarian brick structure was built in 1886; in 1900, a three-story front section and metal siding were added, and in 1919, a clocktower was appended as the nation's first World War I memorial. In Abbott's day, celebrities arriving in New York City were ceremoniously greeted here, and the department's guestbook, which included the signature of Charles Lindbergh, attracted tourists visiting the nearby aquarium.
Although slated for demolition during the construction of Battery Park City, the building was designated a landmark in 1975. Now vacant, it is likely to be renovated for commercial use.
Pier A was built immediately after work was finished on the Brooklyn Bridge and with the same equipment.