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End Of An Era For Revered 107-Year-Old N.J. Ferry Boat-Turned-Restaurant

EDGEWATER, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- Word has leaked out that a Hudson River landmark, turned eyesore will finally be removed from its mooring in Edgewater, New Jersey.

The historic ferry boat sank years ago after decades as a popular restaurant and night spot. CBS 2's Lou Young took a long last look at "The Binghamton" on Friday.

Approach it from the water and you can see immediately why the old ferry boat has to go. The side has collapsed, the interior is open to the elements and the river washes in on the lower deck. The 107-year-old Binghamton has become a big problem.

"It has been a magnet for trouble in the past as people try to enter it," Edgewater Administrator Gregory Franz said.

"We've had a couple fire calls, kids trapped on it. People get stuck on it when the tide goes out and there's no way to climb in and out when the water's up," marina operator Tom Jacobsen said, adding when asked about the time when it had a bar, "That was the hey day. It was a great place to meet single ladies."

A lot of people have fond memories of the 1,400-ton wooden boat, which was commissioned first as a passenger ferry between Hoboken, N.J., and Manhattan before being converted into a restaurant in 1969. It was visible for 40 years from both sides of the Hudson, but ultimately surrendered to age and, even now, a fascination. Jim St. Clair said he came over from Brooklyn to paint the old girl in her final days.

When asked what he likes about it, St. Clair said, "To see nature reclaiming it."

The current owner, Daniuel Kim, had hoped to save the Binghamton when he bought it in 2007, but before he could begin renovations, it sank. Now, he's working a deal to get the wreck out of here, pay his $231,000 in fines and bring in another floating restaurant.

The funny thing is, everyone's a little sad to see it go.

"It has intrinsic value that you cannot put a dollar value on," Franz said.

The Binghamton was placed on the National Historic Register because it was the only two-boiler steam ferry still afloat -- except it's not afloat anymore and when it leaves this place it won't be in one piece. It'll be broken up into pieces and the locals will all be watching.

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