Gowanus Canal Superfund Site Community Advisory Group Archeology Discussion Materials, April 2012
These are maps and notes put together by members of the CAG Archeology Committee highlighting sites and issues of historical importance that should be considered during remediation design of the Canals cleanup. The primary challenge is how the proposed steel pollution control barriers can be integrated with “soft edge” setbacks that celebrate important Battle of Brooklyn sites and restore the timeless natural cycles of the historic wetland flood plain. Prepared by Angela Murphy, Lizzie Olesker and Eymund Diegel from Proteus Hall of the Gowanus and Grassroots Mapping community resources.
What’s “historical” about the Gowanus - besides me ? “Sludgie” Superfund mascot: Anna Martin 2009 Aerial: 14 March 2012, Doc Searles, via Public Laboratory The Gowanus Canal Superfund Site Gino Muskratelli, Superfund Mascot interview candidate, drawn by Vince Mussachia, 2011 Archeological & Historical Discussion Issues WHAT HAS THE ARCHEOLOGY COMMITTEE BEEN DOING ? Advises the EPA on Archeologically Sensitive Areas around the Canal Coordinated input from various Community members on places of Historic Archeological Interest Organized the October 2011 Walking Tour of the Neighborhood for the EPA and Hunter Research (History Consultants) Reviewed and Responded to the December 2011 Hunter Research Archeological Report Link: http://www.epa.gov/region2/superfund/npl/gowanus/pdf/gowanuscanal_arch-sen-study.pdf ( hint: its hidden in the “Appendices” section… ) - Considering Ways to make Information available to Community Extensive Landfilling on top of Tidal Marsh: 19 Feet on Average Gowanus Watershed The Canal Historic Landfilled Tidal Marsh We Wont Find Much Archeologically.. 1766 Ratzer Map, New York Public Library Gowanus Tidal Estuary provided rich hunting and fishing grounds 1879, Currier & Ives 1922 Citizens Gas Works Crib Bulkhead Visual & Ecological Values Gowanus Canal Sponge Park Plan dlandstudio / Gowanus Canal Conservancy Bergen & Sassian Streams Diverted into Sewer = causing overflows ? An Overview of Sites HISTORIC SITES Cole’s Mill Pond Brouwer’s Mill Battle Site & Historic Dam Denton’s Mill Slave Works Denton’s Pond Cole’s Mill Historic Mill 4th Street Basin proposed landfill site ? Old Stone House Battle Site Presumed Grave Location Marylander’s Burial Ground Battle Site / Potential Second Burial Ground Veterans Monument Various Grave Sites: No bodies found because maybe relocated to Greenwood Cemetery ? Potential Alternative Burial Ground Original Stone House location MAIN HISTORIC SENSITIVITY AREAS – TIDAL MILLS GOWANUS TIDAL MILLS Map: Bernard Ratzer,1766 Painting: Alonzo Chappel, Battle of Long Island, 1858 Brouwerâ€™s Bridge Site Location of a strategic 1776 Battle of Brooklyn site One of the first Tidal Mills in New York Overlay from 1766 Ratzer map Daniel Barry, New York Times, 2005 2011 Balloon Canoe Aerial courtesy of Gowanus Canal Conservancy / Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club 27 August 1776 – Delaware Regiment – stranded when Brouwer’s Bridge blown up Battle of Brooklyn Sites dlandstudio / Gowanus Canal Conservancy SPONGE PARK PLAN HISTORIC 1776 WAR OF INDEPENDENCE SITES Brouwer’s Mill Bridge Battle Site & Historic Dam Denton’s Mill Battle Site Battle Site / Potential Second Burial Ground 1776 OLD STONE HOUSE BATTLE Old Stone House Battle Site Presumed Grave Location Veterans Monument Marylander’s Burial Ground ( May have been relocated to Greenwood Cemetery – being researched by FROGG archeologists ) Potential Alternative Burial Ground Original Stone House location Old Stone House Battle Site 1776 Battle of Brooklyn Johnson Map Battle of Brooklyn 1858, Alonzo Chappel, The Battle of Long Island, Retreat of the Americans Under General Stirling Across Gowanus Creek Battle of Denton’s Mill – 27 August 1776 (next To Carroll Street Bridge) Alonzo Chappel, Battle of Long Island, 1858, viewed from what is now the Carroll Street Bridge APPROXIMATE LOCATION OF THE FIRST STREET BASIN www.whatwasthere.com 2011 Battle of Brooklyn Site Google Street View 1776 Battle of Brooklyn Site Approximate Location 1766 stream Overlay from 1766 Ratzer map, 2011 Balloon Canoe Aerial courtesy of Gowanus Canal Conservancy / Gowanus Dredgers What will be our Historical Legacy ? City and State allowed First Street Landfill to happen on Public Waterway Must now restore this HISTORIC SITE Superfund and Clean Water Act must work together to do this Map: Susannah Drake, dlandstudio, 2010 Overlays do not necessarily reflect dland’s original design, and are for community discussion purposes only NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE POTENTIAL WATERFRONT PARK SPECIAL TREAMENT IN WATERFRONT EDGE DESIGN WHEN CONSIDERING REMEDIATION OPTIONS Painting: Alonzo Chappel, Battle of Long Island, 1858 3rd Ave & 3rd Street photo of Whole Foods site contaminated soil excavation pits showing brief reappearance of historic Denton Mills Pond: 2007 Bob Gusskind NATURAL HISTORY 1922 FOURTH AVE HISTORIC FLOOD MANAGEMENT ISSUES Historic Streams Diverted into Sewer During 1850’s and causing overflows ? dlandstudio / Gowanus Canal Conservancy 1766 NATURAL WATER SHED 2011 PIPED SYSTEM BOND STREET COMBINED SEWER OVERFLOW (RH 35) Denton’s Pond Lucas Kronawitter 4TH STREET BASIN Old Stone House / Byrne Park 5TH STREET BASIN: CAN IT’S CONTAMINATED FILL BE CLEANED OUT AND THE PUBLIC RIGHT OF WAY BE RESTORED AS A FLOODWAY CONNECTION TO J.J. BYRNE PARK ? WHAT NEXT ? - CAG Archeology Committee to be signatory to Memorandum of Agreement: Remediation to be more than “recordation” – wants physical component as well: A HISTORIC WATERFRONT PARK - GOWANUS HISTORY DAY ; and a Canal waterfront to support it - Industrial Architecture of the Gowanus FROGG Tours - Integrating the Sponge Park Plan Critical Sites into Remedial Design - Outreach about important Sites - Cleanup Standards need to meet these Future Uses WHAT DO YOU THINK ? THE END ? Whatâ€™s about MY historic resources ? Gino Muskratelli, by Vince Mussachia, Six Packed Panels, Red Hook Star Revue, 2011 This presentation available at: www.proteusgowanus.org in Hall of the Gowanus archive