And now, something from the NY Times for George the Atheist to sink his teeth into:
Q. With proposals in the news to fill in more of the Hudson River, I’m remembering some far-out proposals to literally reshape Manhattan. Can you refresh my memory?
A. Far out is the word. One of the wildest schemes was drawn in 1865 by James Serrell, a New York City surveyor and civil engineer. Bothered perhaps by the dangerous turbulence around Hell Gate and inspired by visions of real estate opportunities, he published his “Plan and Description Proposing to Re-model the City of New York and Its Vicinity: By Making a New East River, Filling Up Hell-Gate, and Annexing Brooklyn.”
His new East River would have been to the east of the present one, and its shoreline, extending from about 12th Street up to the Harlem River, would have been arrow-straight. New avenues and city blocks would have run right over Hell Gate, the lower East River islands and the present river.
Serrell’s map, a copy of which is in the New York Public Library, makes the proposed fatter Manhattan look like a giant meat cleaver, thanks to the straightness of the East Side shoreline.
Another learning experience for Crappy, who in April found references to a similar proposal from 1894.