Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Farther East River

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.

6 comments:

ken said...

according to U.S. law works published before 1923 are in the public domain. So how does the NY Times get off putting a copyright notification at the bottom of this article? Oh yeah, I forgot, companies with clout make up their own laws.

Published: June 14, 1892
Copyright © The New York Times

georgetheatheist said...

The Times is s-o-o-o passe. That's why we All read the Queens Crap blog site - right gang? - the cutting edge in journalistic endeavor and SCOOPING the "big shots" day in and day out.

ken said...

queens crap: "All the news that throws corrupt politicians into a fit."

(play on ny times motto)

mazeartist said...

Though Serrell's plan never saw daylight, old Hagstrom maps have Pierhead and bulkhead lines signaling how far property owners and cities could extend their lands.

For the most part, the East River and Hudson River have straight shorelines held by seawalls. Today, architects prefer a sloping shoreline using rip-rap (rocks and boulders).

Anonymous said...

There should be one standard for all of NY. The Hudson is slated to be a park from the Battery to Albany on both sides.

In Manhattan, the East River will be a park all the way up.

In Queens, well, its a different story.

Funny how our preservation leadership doesn't tell us what is going on elsewhere, but keeps us in the dark. They have decided rather than doing their job, its more important to preserve their perceieved pathetic little 'secret access' to the courts of power.

Since even Crappie has found ways to work with them, no one is going to say anything, eh?

Anonymous said...

Fill in the swamps. Fill in the ponds.
Fill in all the lakes and rivers !

Think of all that wasted "underutilized" space
that can be built upon.

Then by 2030 we'll be able to increase our population
to at least 3 million more......heh, heh, heh !

Just what the "clubhouse" ordered!