SSA ‘open house’ a tepid affair

Steamship Authority officials and architects had a more benign response to the Woods Hole terminal design than they got in Falmouth the night before. - Rich Saltzberg

A thin crowd meandered in and out of the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse lobby Wednesday evening to catch a glimpse of the proposed new terminal in Woods Hole, exhibiting none of the revulsion Falmouth residents expressed across the Sound earlier in the week.

The second of the Steamship Authority’s community open houses meant to showcase designs for the new Woods Hole terminal building, the Vineyard Haven event was sparsely attended by Islanders.

It was a different format, with Steamship Authority general manager Robert Davis, general counsel Terence Kenneally, security director Larry Ferreira, and spokesman Sean Driscoll, as well as architects from BIA Studio, milling about answering questions about the images and schematics displayed on easels and projected on screens.

One man offhandedly asked BIA Studio’s Chris Iwerks if the roof design of the terminal was meant to echo a 17th century saltbox — if so, the man argued, the slope is positioned to the wrong compass orientation.

Vineyard Havener Regan Goldstein told Ferreira said she saw some virtue in the design, but also saw credence in some of the criticism leveled against it.

Driscoll told The Times the Steamship Authority has received compliments and criticisms on the aesthetics of the terminal. Among the criticisms was disapproval of the proposed stone veneer on the façade of the terminal.

Nobody raised his or her voice, or could be heard delivering sharp critiques.

In the hour The Times was at the open house, no Tisbury officials or other Island officials were evident in the playhouse lobby.

Steamship Authority brass will return to the Vineyard on Oct. 16 for a monthly board meeting, to be held at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School.