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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

Brouwer’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 ? What’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


Gowanus Canal Superfund Site Community Advisory Group Archeology Discussion Materials, April 2012