STATUE OF LIBERTY

Creative console design overcomes space limitations for Statue of Liberty command center overhaul.

After the devastation following Hurricane Sandy, visitors seeking to tour New York City’s iconic Statue of Liberty were forced to find alternative tourist destinations. In the aftermath of one of the country’s most deadliest and destructive hurricanes, Lady Liberty’s doors and all of Ellis Island were shuttered for more than eight months. The surveillance and security departments of the park experienced severe damage and underwent upgrades and repairs following the storm.

Maintained by the National Park Service, the monument’s command center helps the U.S. Park Police ensure visitor safety, manage traffic control and deploy resources as needed to help make sure everyone touring the statue has a positive, safe experience. As a result, redesigning the room layout was a vital consideration – and one that came with several challenges.

Because the original command center was located at ground level, the areas experienced immense water damage from the hurricane. The storm water was so high that the electrical systems for the statue – and Ellis Island – were completely destroyed.

“We ended up physically moving the command center to a new location in the park,” said Jordan Heilweil, CEO of Total Recall Corporation, the firm based in Suffern, New York that led the project. “We were working within very tight quarters and needed the room to be extremely functional, but not cramped or crowded.”

In order to maximize the available space, Total Recall and their team worked with Minnesota-based Winsted Corporation to design a comprehensive console system that allowed operators to work with ergonomically correct devices and functional workspace, while designing a piece of furniture constructed to withstand the test of time and 24/7 use.

“The room needed to have enough space so that the operators could function without feeling confined or restricted,” Heilweil said. “That’s why the console was designed to provide functional and personal space, and allowed operators to focus on both their desktop monitors and the video wall comfortably and effectively.”

Achieving this goal meant implementing a design that diverged from the traditional straight console and taking into consideration the space requirements of the two operators in the command center who would both utilize dual monitors as well as a large format video wall that can be reconfigured at the touch of a button. The answer was an angled console that maximized usable space.

“Making a console work in a room that was a snug fit was a challenge,” Heilweil said. “The end result, however, was a system that was set up so the operators could always have one hand driving the video wall and another hand free for communications.”

Part of the Prestige Series of consoles from Winsted, the compact Insight console is ergonomic, modular and adaptable, so the operators have the flexibility and adaptability to monitor viewing angles and sight lines as well as maintain a level of personal comfort.

Built with Winsted’s Versa-Trak mounting system, the console includes an integrated horizontal aluminum track configuration that supports the two monitors. The track itself enables the operators to make horizontal adjustments more easily and the post-mounted VESA brackets provide the ability to tilt and pivot the monitors.

As an added touch to the console, Winsted included a tribute to the project by placing a graphic at the end of the console that pictures the statue and the American flag alongside the park police logo.

“Winsted was a great partner and the graphic on the console was a nice addition to a job well done,” said Heilweil.

The new command center was moved to an undisclosed location at the monument to help ensure safety, and adjoins with an additional room for park officials to conduct related police work while protecting Lady Liberty’s tens of thousands of daily visitors.

“Whether the operators are documenting an unattended package or changing boat schedules, the goal was to make ensure visitors had a positive experience visiting the Statue of Liberty,” Heilweil said. “This console helps them keep those goals in mind.”

Total Recall and their team completed the project just in time for the National Parks Service to reopen the Statue of Liberty to the public on July 4, 2013. Since then, the monument has averaged 25,000 visitors per day. The entire project was a pro bono donation led by Total Recall that encompassed 10 different companies with varying specialties in the security and communications industry. 

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