Ridgewood Reservoir is one of those places that defies the common imagination of New York City. A lake sits surrounded by reeds and two massive basins, each with its own habitat. Dirt paths lined with iron gates from previous centuries surround the basins, but this all hides within a chain-link fence that cuts off access. The fence is a patchwork in constant development, telling the story of repeated entries with wire cutters. A few people might circle the outer fence’s road on foot or bicycle, but for the most part the site is empty. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn’
The Hunterfly Road Houses of Weeksville are the discovered remnants of a free African-American enclave of urban trasdespeople and property owners. The community provided safety for fugitive slaves and those later fleeing the Civil War draft riots of lower Manhattan. By the time of the Emancipation Proclamation, Weeksville was a thriving area with its own doctors, teachers, publishers, and social services. (more…)
Brooklyn Navy Yard is one of NYC’s largest pieces of intact — though decaying — history. Sprawling over nearly 300 acres, it has both current industrial tenants, and plans are in the works for adaptive reuse projects for some of the buildings. It’s living history, dotted by pockets of contemporary industry. (more…)
Green-Wood Cemetery is best known as the final resting place of famous New Yorkers like Boss Tweed, the Steinway family, and Leonard Bernstein, but it’s also a treasure trove of hidden sculpture and architecture. (more…)
Major David Bates Douglass, Green-Woods designer and engineer, was to some degree, a ‘renaissance man’ of the 1800s. His early career was spent in the Army, but in some unusual roles: he not only had military successes, but accompanied an exploration/journey (The 1820 Cass Expedition) to the Michigan/Minnesota area, brought along to survey land and catalog both the geology and flora of the regions. He spent a stint in academic roles at West Point (as Professor of ‘Natural Philosophy’) and at the early CUNY, and later became (short-lived) President of Kenyon in Ohio. Green-Wood was his greatest success, but his impact was felt throughout the New York region. (more…)
You might catch a glimpse of Newtown Creek by traveling over one of its many bridges. But that glimpse doesn’t give you the scope of the creek’s importance to New York City’s development, or exactly why it has become a zone of contention in the NYC landscape.
The creek runs a full 3.5 miles, bisecting Brooklyn and Queens. Most people barely know it exists. So what happens there, how did it become so overlooked, and was it always this way?
What we found was both beautiful and grotesque, heartening and depressing. (more…)
Newtown Creek, the 3.5 mile-long waterway that separates Brooklyn and Queens, is one of the most polluted industrial sites in America. The creek water contains hundreds of years of discarded toxins, an estimated 30 million gallons of spilled oil, and raw sewage from New York City’s antiquated sewer system. To make matters worse, there is no current in the creek, and over the years the sludge has congealed into a 15-foot thick layer of “black mayonnaise” on the creekbed.
Creek advocates like the Newtown Creek Alliance and Riverkeeper argue the creek could be a wonderful recreational waterway for New York City. They imagine a marina and access to the creek’s banks. But before that can happen, the creek needs to be cleaned up. So what effort has been made to restore Newtown Creek? Here are brief descriptions of the most significant remediation plans to date. (more…)