This Historic NYC Fire Boat Just Got A Face-lift And It’s Gorgeous

Caitlin Horsfield Caitlin Horsfield

This Historic NYC Fire Boat Just Got A Face-lift And It’s Gorgeous
This boat has definitely been “dazzled.”

A historic boat in New York City has been beautified thanks to a partnership with the Public Art Fund and a British arts organization, 14-18 NOW. The ship, which will be docked in NYC until May of 2019, is a retired FDNY vessel which has been around since 1931.

The concept for the new look of the ship was inspired by World War I era tactics of camouflaging war ships using a technique known as “dazzling.” At the time, the British navy painted their ships with bold, abstract patterns inspired by artistic movements like Cubism and Futurism in order to confuse their maritime enemies.

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The John J. Harvey was decommissioned in the 1990’s but was put back to work on 9/11 evacuating victims and putting out fires.

The new makeover by artist Tauba Auerbach serves as a commemoration of this boats service over the years. The boat will be docked from July 1 to August 12 at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, from August 13 to September 23 at Pier 25 in Hudson River Park and finally, at Pier 66a from September 24 to May 12, 2019.

Visitors can board the boat free of charge and there will even be occasional 60-minute boat trips around New York Harbor, which are also free but a reservation is required.


After the exhibition is over, the John J. Harvey will return to it’s original paint job so make sure you find the time to check it out some time this year!

Featured image and all photos: Public Art Fund