Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Poorhouse remains found near City Hall

From the NY Post:

A bit of the city's pre-Revolutionary history peeked through when archaeologists began digging test holes around City Hall as part of a $100 million renovation project and discovered remnants of an ancient almshouse.

City officials yesterday reported artifacts of the poorhouse right behind City Hall, including what appears to be the original foundation sitting adjacent to a modern-day retaining wall.

"It's not surprising to find remnants of historic structures," said Amanda Sutphin, director of archaeology at the Landmarks Preservation Commission. "But to be this close to the retaining wall is a little shocking."

She said a three-day dig uncovered hundreds of artifacts, from clay pipe stems to pottery shards to bones of butchered animals, all suspected to date from the 1700s. Tests are continuing to confirm the dates.

"There were lots and lots of bones," Sutphin reported. "This was a pretty big institution."

The two-story almshouse stood from 1736-1797 in an area that dates back to Dutch days and now serves as City Hall Park and includes both City Hall and the infamous Tweed Courthouse.

"In the 18th century, institutions not wanted in the center of town were placed here," Sutphin explained.

Now they're dumped in an outer borough.

Photo from the NY Times.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So now when you go the poorhouse, it will be a much shorter trip.