Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Old plan to fill in the East River

The following information is provided at the request of George the Atheist:

Fill the East River: September 2, 1894

The Proposition to Fill in the East River: September 7, 1894

Tides and the East River Isthmus: September 14, 1894

John S. Brooks' Proposition is Not New or Original: September 27, 1894

Satellite image with East River in red taken from Wikipedia's East River page

All links are to the Brooklyn Public Library's Brooklyn Eagle archives


georgetheatheist said...

Thanks for the research, Crapper! Quite an interesting read. Shows you there really is nothing "new under the sun". I'd like to know who this guy John S. Brooks of 682 Union Street, Brooklyn was and why he was so interested in connecting LI and Manhattan. Was he just a public-spirited citizen? A real estate developer? A fruitcake? (Any engineers out there who might venture to guess just how one would fill in the East "River"? Would one build a dyke, as Brooks suggested, starting at Hunters Point?)

In any event, here we are in 2007, faced with another issue of East-West mobility with Bloomies' $8 toll proposal.

Brooks also mentioned the need "to get across it [the East River] more than a continuous passage up and down. That will never be provided by bridges and ferries." Did he live to see the Qveensborough Bridge or the Mid-Town Tunnel? BTW, my research discovered that John Roebling wanted to bridge the river from about where Rainey Park is today to the 60's in Manhattan PRIOR to the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. (Those politics are another fascinating tale to be told.)

Interesting mentions in Brooks' letter of Mayor Abram Hewitt and the owner of the LI Railroad, the now-infamous anti-Semite Austin Corbin.

[This blog is SO educational!]

verdi said...

They'll never fill in that moat....but I hear they're thinking of putting in Alligators to keep those outer borough riff-raff out of Manhattan!

It seems that overpricing the real estate isn't working completely. Enough of us Queensites might, some day, become millionaires and be able to afford a posh studio apartment.....oops....I mean shoe box!

Anonymous said...

Don't let Gioia hear about this - I'm sure he'd love to erase the line between Queens and Manhattan so he can live in the latter without moving. Also, more space for the high-rises he loves so much.

Anonymous said...

Within Queens, a number of waterways have been filled in and erased from the map, including Horse Brook, Kissena Creek, Baisley Creek, Hawtree Creek, Corona's Linden Pond, and much of the Flushing River.

The sea level may be rising, but in the past century, the amount of wetlands and streams in Queens have decreased as a result of land reclamation.

Anonymous said...

In some of the more progressive cities in our country, they are actually uncovering old stream beds that were piped underground and restoring them to their original natural states.

The Kissena Creek is an example of a natural flow that was diverted underground years ago. Huge conduits (which, I understand, are big enough for a man to walk in) are beneath the Kissena Corridor.