New York’s most historic fire boat has a dazzling new paint job

The historic fireboat John J. Harvey was built in the 1930s and served the city of NY until the 1990s. Famously, it came out of retirement during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to assist in the recovery efforts at the World Trade Center.

Now it has been repainted in a WWI technique called Dazzle in commemoration of the boat’s history and to mark the centenary of World War I. Dazzle’s huge, abstract swirls of paint made it difficult to determine the speed and direction of a boat, and complicated the task of estimating its distance.

The Public Art Fund and the British Arts organization 14-18 NOW asked artist Tauba Auerbach to repaint the John J. Harvey using the Dazzle technique, writes Diana Budds in Curbed.

The Harvey can be seen from July 1, 2018 until August 12, 2018 at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6. On August 13, 2018 it will move to Pier 25 in Hudson River Park where it will remain until September 23, 2018. From September 24, 2018 until May 12, 2019, it will dock at Pier 66a. Visitors can board the boat free of charge.  Some 60-minute trips around New York Harbor can be reserved here.

John J. Harvey will be restored to its original look next May.

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