Issuu on Google+

Aerial: NYCDEP 1990, Sewage: Tom Giebel 2010

Manhattan

Manhattan

Historic Landfilled Tidal Marsh

The Canal Gowanus Watershed Gowanus Lego: Christoph Niemann 2008

“Sludgie” Superfund mascot: Anna Martin 2009

A Visual History of Canal the Gowanus Canal


4000 YEARS OF HUMAN SETTLEMENT, changing its landscape from a rich ecologically diverse tidal marsh to an industrial polluted Canal

Can the past have answers for the future? Aerial Photos courtesy of Google Maps and Bing Aerials circa 2009 (?) 1766 Ratzer Map


5 major Human Technology Phases Define Gowanus landscapes

Pre 1600 :

Agricultural

BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES, INCLUDING LUMBER

1650 - 1800: Tidal MECHANICAL TIDAL DAMS CAPTURE WATER ENERGY TO GRIND GRAIN

1800 - 1950: Fossil - Coal ERIE CANAL & STEAM BOAT NEED WATERFRONT LOTS

1950 - 2000: Fossil - Oil NEW MOTORS: FROM WATER TO THE ROADS AND AIR

1950 – 2000: Digital Data HIGH SPEED DATA MAKES WATERFRONT WAREHOUSES OBSOLETE REPLACED BY CONTAINERIZATION, AND “JUST IN TIME” SHIPPING


Crossing Bering Straight, Origins Room, Museo de la Antropologia, Mexico


30,000 BC

Global Warming allows Humans to reach America through Alaska

2011, Bering Glacier, NASA


30,000 BC – A MAJOR SPECIES SHIFT DUE TO GLOBAL WARMING

1876, Ernst Haeckl, The History of Creation, Hypothetical Sketch of the Monophylitic Origin and The Extension of the 12 Races of Men from Lemuria across the Earth

New Access Corridors and Landscapes allow Human Migration


FACEBOOK CONNECTIONS + WORLD POPULATION DENSITY 2010

WHERE DO HUMANS LIKE TO LIVE ? SHORELINES

Because of larger brains, and capability to adapt quickly, Humans thrive on Environmental Change and Disturbed Environments


Humans thrive on Environmental Change

Humans thrive on Environmental Edges

NASA view of Long Island City Lights circa 2000


4000 BC to +/- 1600 : The Native American & Agricultural Landscape HUNTER GATHERING, LATER FARMING, BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES ARE EXPLOITED FOR FOOD, FUR, LUMBER, SHELTER


THE FUTURE GOWANUS CANAL CHEAP LAND !

4,000 BC – First Humans checkout the Gowanus Creek Area.


www.welikia.org

www.oasisnyc.net

Period of Climate Stability allows North American Woodlands to develop

GOWANUS


4,000 BC to 1600’s

Lenape Woman, Bryant White, www.bbwhite.com, 2007

Native American Settlements emerge


1766 Ratzer Map, New York Public Library

Gowanus Tidal Estuary provided rich hunting and fishing grounds


1635 Dutch Settlers start appropriating the rich Indian agricultural lands A main industry is growing grain for local tidal mills and distilleries

"I was going by the house of Lubbertse, and saw many little hills in the way from the house to (Brower's) Mill along the neck and (when I) inquired what the hills were ... was answered that it was the Indian corn lands.� Maritie Bevors, 84 years old, 1741 New Amsterdam Court Trial Proceedings, as quoted in "Indian Paths in the Great Metropolis", Reginald Bolton, 1922 Cristina Kelly “Maize Field� Bergen Street


1650 - 1800: The Colonial Agricultural & Tidal Landscape TIDAL DAMS CAPTURE WATER ENERGY TO GRIND GRAIN, WATER TRAILS CUT THROUGH MARSHES TO CONNECT LOCAL AGRICULTURE TO THE GLOBAL MARKETPLACE NC Wyeth, The Flutter Mill, in The Yearling, 1938


1766 Ratzer Map

1640

Brouwers Mill, later called Freekes Mill, 1867 Mc Closkey’s Manual on Brooklyn History

Gowanus landscape shaped by Glaciers: the “Cobble Hills” that define early settlement and networks More trees are cut down, Tidal dams are built.


BECAUSE HUMANS ARE 75% WATER, HISTORY LARGELY DETERMINED BY HYDROLOGY Gowanus Tidal water was too salty to drink, Settlers chose sites next NATURAL FRESH WATER SPRINGS. SPRINGS DETERMINED WHERE OLDEST SETTLEMENT CORES ARE

REMNANT OF DENTON’S POND, 2011

POTENTIAL HISTORIC SPRING SITE


3rd Ave & 3rd Street photo of Whole Foods site contaminated soil excavation pits showing brief reappearance of historic Denton Mills Pond: 2007 Bob Gusskind


Native American Settlements Decimated by European Contact and Contagion

www.welikia.org

Englishman’s Foot


1645:

European settlement starts in the Gowanus ADAM’S STOPS 1

3

GERMANY

GOWANUS

BRAZIL

2

GUNS, GERMS & STEEL

GOVERNOR KIEFT INDIAN MASSACRES, 1643

Adam Brouwer (1620-1690) mercenary, skull bowler, Gowanus miller

GRAFFITI SKULL, UNION & BOND ST, 2006


GOWANUS TIDAL MILLS

Map: Bernard Ratzer,1766

Painting: Alonzo Chappel, Battle of Long Island, 1858


1858, Alonzo Chappel, The Battle of Long Island, Retreat of the Americans Under General Stirling Across Gowanus Creek

(FURTHER) CONFLICTS OVER RESOURCE CONTROL

27 August 1776 – Battle of Brooklyn


27 August 1776 – Battle of Brooklyn Where did the Bodies End Up ? “Provincials Drowned Here..”

1777 London’s Gentleman’s Map


After the battle was over, the two British officers were buried in a field, near where they fell, and their graves fenced in fenced in with some posts and rails, where their remains still rest. But for an "example to the rebels," they refused the American rifleman the rites of sepulture; and his remains were exposed on the ground, till his flesh rotted, and torn off his bones by the fowls of the air. After a considerable length of time, in a heavy gale of wind, a large tree was uprooted; in the cavity formed by which, some friends of the Americans (...) placed the brave soldier's bones to mingle in peace with their kindred earth.� The Battle of Brooklyn, John J. Gallagher, 1995

1824 "Notes Geographical and Historical relating to the town of Brooklyn, in Kings County on Long Island" Gabriel Furman


www.whatwasthere.com 2011

Battle of Brooklyn Site Google Street View


1776

Battle of Brooklyn Site Approximate Location


Aero Service Aerials, 1951

LANDFILLED DURING 1960’S BY TRUCKS COMING AT NIGHT FEDERAL CLEANUP INVESTIGATION FOUND TOXIC LEVELS OF MERCURY

Above: 1951 Aerial with Boats Below: 2011 View of Filled Basin

WILL NEED EXCAVATION

WHAT SHOULD THIS SITE BECOME ?


IF SUPERFUND WERE TO EXCAVATE THE MERCURY CONTAMINATED FIRST STREET BASIN LANDFILL, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE ?

1)  DEP WETLAND fed by rainwater from the Carroll Street Storm Sewer project. 2)  BOAT HOUSE & ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER with a restored water mill children’s play park.

3)  PARKING LOT for the new Africa Israel condominium project, with tax payer funding for seized public land.

4)  NOTHING. We like the landfill just the way it is.

Alonzo Chappel, Battle of Long Island, 1858, viewed from what is now the Carroll Street Bridge

APPROXIMATE LOCATION OF THE FIRST STREET BASIN


1766 stream overlay

COULD THIS SPRING STILL BE RUNNING ?


Map: Susannah Drake, dlandstudio, 2010 Overlays do not necessarily reflect dland’s original design, and are for community discussion purposes only

IF SEA LEVELS RISE, SHOULD WE JUST BUILD CITY HIGHER ? OR SHOULD WE REBUILD IT LOWER TO DISSIPATE ITS IMPACT – RECREATE THE NATURAL LAYERS OF SHORELINES ? Painting: Alonzo Chappel, Battle of Long Island, 1858


New York City Department of City Planning, 1998

1625 to 2011:

Urban Settlement Core that grows outwards based on water dependent Dutch settlement and early Indian trails

Lenape Canoes, Bryant White, www.bbwhite.com, 2007


1800 - 1940: The Fossil Fuel Landscape – Stage 1: Coal FOSSILIZED BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES ARE CONVERTED TO ENERGY MACHINES REPLACE THE HAND THE ERIE CANAL CREATES ACESS TO CHEAP PENNSYLVANNIA MINES & STEAM ENGINE BOATS CREATE DEMAND FOR WATERFRONT LOTS 1930’s view of Metropolitan Manufactured Gas Plant & the Steam and Smoke of Industry


1800’s Onward :

Regional Plan Association, Waste Management Plan, 1967

1815 Steam Boat 1825 Erie Canal

City allows Speculators to claim wetlands and underwater lots if they fill them in, typically with garbage, soils from hills and excavations & industrial wastes: The Era of Waterfront Industry begins


DEVELOPMENT 1840s – 1860s the creek is converted into a 1.8 mile long canal

1849 2004, USACE Cultaral Resources Assessment for the Gowanus Canal, Hunter Research, Raber Associates, Northe Eastern Ecological Associates


1879, Currier & Ives


Brooklyn Public Library, via Kevin Clarke, NYCDEP

As stream diverted to sewers, no longer enough water to flush Gowanus Creek by tides alone. Engineering Measures needed to Solve Problem


STORM SURGE MAP

As the Landscape is hardened and the natural stream and pond structures are destroyed, Water flows speed up. Flooding becomes a common problem. GLOBAL WARMING IMPACT : the “100-year” flood will be the “50-year” (more frequent floods, in a larger area)

Brooklyn Public Library, Brownstoner Blog


2011, Pardon Me For Asking blog, via reader

BECAUSE OF BAD PLANNING EVEN BRIDGES FLOOD SEPTEMBER 2011, 3RD STREET BRIDGE & GOWANUS CANAL


RECONSTRUCTING THE PATH OF THE GOWANUS WATERSHED’S HISTORIC STREAM… How can we get rainwater out of the sewers and back into the historical stream system ? We need more research…

POTENTIAL STREAM OUTFLOW SITE ArcHydro Gowanus Watershed Flow Map by Eymund Diegel, 2010, based on a 2004 Digital Elevation Model. The blue lines represent the way rainwater would flow if their were no buildings or street drains. Though hypothetical, the flow directions gives clues to the path of historic stream beds, major street regradings, and potential underground aquifer flows. The blue blobs represent “sinks” or pools in the contours where rainwater would tend to pond. These all represent “opportunity sites” for Green Infrastructure to improve the Canal’s water quality. I have found this model accurately depicts why my neighbor’s basement floods on Sackett Street (the old Bergen Creek watercourse)


ECOLOGICAL (HISTORICAL) WATER CYCLE

URBAN WATER CYCLE

EVAPORATION IT RAINS

IT RAINS CONDENSATION

SOME WATER GOES INTO PIPE

WATER GOES INTO PIPE

WHAT WE WANT 2011, Lukas Kronawitter, Terreform One, Water Sensitive Urban Design for the Gowanus Canal

INFILTRATION & HISTORIC STREAM RESTORATION


2011L Nerina Penzhorn, Long After We’re Gone http://vimeo.com/23532919


Heron photo: 2007 Bob Gusskind


2011, Adam Katzman

CONSERVANCY 2ND AVE BIOSWALE


1924 Citizens Gas Works MGP Site (Public Place)

1924 Fulton Gas Works MGP Site (Thomas Greene Park) 1924, SPEED GIS, Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation

The Gas Light Era 1924 Metropolitan Gas Works MGP Site (Lowes)


1922 Public Place Citizens Gas Works MGP Site showing Water outflows, probably from coal washing

1922, National Grid Archives


1910 Brooklyn Rapid Transit Powerhouse consumes mountains of coal and canal water for steam generators. Closed when Canal water became too silted and polluted to use for steam in 1938 This Trolley Powerhouse gave the Brooklyn “Trolley” Dodgers their name Impact: PCB’s, Air Pollution (Acid Rain) 1910, Thomas E. Murray, Power Stations book - via Robert Lobenstein


2011 Brooklyn Rapid Transit Building Google Street View


1906 Brooklyn Rapid Transit Building Original Structure

1910,Dreitzker & Gerhard, Investigation of the Sanitary Conditions of the Gowanus Canal, MIT thesis


1906 looking north from Union Street Bridge, showing Lumber Yards and Fulton MGP Coal Docks

Wide range of Industrial Toxics Chemicals start being used

1910,Dreitzker & Gerhard, Investigation of the Sanitary Conditions of the Gowanus Canal, MIT thesis


1850-1900 Widespread Industrialization 1853 1855 

Gowanus Canal Construction Starts Irish Immigrants 86% Men are City Laborers 74% Women are Domestic Workers

1869 

Canal Complete 2,740 New Buildings 20,000 Residents 30 Churches 100 Storehouses and factories

1880 

30 Businesses 6,140 Vessels 896,016 Tons of Cargo


INDUSTRIAL HUB 1915 to 1950 - Gowanus is the nation’s busiest commercial canal

From John Shapiro’s Welcome to Gowanus presentation, Pratt Institute Center for Planning & the Environment, 2011


Population: 10,000 100,000 1,000,000 10,000,000

Temperature Difference: 4 degrees celsius 6 degrees celsius 8 degrees celsius 10 degrees celsius

(Oke, 1973)

Cities are 6 degrees forests warmer than forests


1912 窶的rish & German Shops at 4th Avenue and Bergen Street


1915, Charles Spero, via Leslie-Arlette Boyce & Brian Merlis’ book – The Glory of Brooklyn’s Gowanus, 2011

1915 –Greg Chapel Italian Social Club on 4th Avenue & Sackett Street


1900’s - Peak worker population – Port of Brooklyn has 25,000 Annual Vessel Trips

From Leslie-Arlette Boyce & Brian Merlis’ book – The Glory of Brooklyn’s Gowanus, 2011

1920s – Fred Goat Machine Shop at 314 Dean Street & 3rd Ave (now next to NYC Resistor & Makerbot 3d Printers)


1911 Flushing Tunnel built to help “flush out� raw sewage and industrial effluents

1947 snow dumping at Butler street

Brooklyn Public Library

Water System continues getting treated as Garbage Can & Toilet


1900-1930

Peak of the Canal

1892

Butler Storm Sewer built to flush Canal pollution, but fails

1900

60 Businesses, 25,000 Vessels

1910 

Henry Ford begins manufacturing the automobile 200,000 Italians enter USA annually

1916 

New York City Passes Zoning Resolution

1929

Black Tuesday


1900’s to 1970’s

Brooklyn Public Library

1950 – Gowanus Canal – Police Dredging for Bodies

Crime & the Gowanus Exaggerated reputation – Only received a body and a half a year during it’s more turbulent decades. Best Place to dump a body is Jamaica Bay and Pelham Bay Park 1919 PROHIBITION MADE WATERFRONT IDEAL SPOT FOR SMUGGLING BOOZE – LEADING TO CRIME SYNDICATES

1998 Gowanus Body

1933 Gangster Chart Corbis Archives


CAN HUMAN DESTINY BE CHANGED BY ALTERING OUR ENVIRONMENTS THROUGH COMMUNITY ACTION?

1930 Study by New York City Housing Authority Study to look at the correlation between crime and lack of social services Herge, Tintin in America 1937


1940 - 2000: The Fossil Fuel Landscape Stage 2 : Oil EVEN MORE DIFFICULT TO REACH FOSSILIZED BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES ARE CONVERTED TO ENERGY NEW MOTORS MOVE TRANSPORT FROM WATER TO THE ROADS CONTAINERIZATION MAKES WATERFRONT WAREHOUSE OBSOLETE Bayside Fuel Depot, Smith & 9th Street, 2007 2007, Frank H. Jump


1950’S - The Oil Era

2011, Yuki Kokubo


1930-1970 Decline of Canal Industry 1929-1941 Depression 1949

Gowanus Houses Built

1960

20 businesses

1970

Port of NY Moves to NJ 9 businesses on Canal 85 % decline from Peak Gowanus no longer competitive Shipping for Containerized Shipping


Pollution continues: Moves from Water to Air


2009 Air Pollution the brown stuff makes you cough

2009 New York City Community Air Survey


1960s

Community Activists get Sewage Plant built to divert raw sewage from Gowanus Canal

1969

Flushing Tunnel breaks

1978 

Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation founded

1997 

Brooklyn Center for the Urban Environment gives Gowanus tours


2011 -

THE NEW ERA

Digital Data High Value & Craft Industry 2011, Angel Franco, New York Times

1950 – 2000: The Digital World HIGH SPEED DATA MAKES WATERFRONT WAREHOUSES OBSOLETE REPLACED BY CONTAINERIZATION, AND “JUST IN TIME” SHIPPING & MANUFACTURING HANDMADE GOODS MAKE A COME BACK, GOWANUS BECOMES A LOCAVORE DESTINATION

Makerbot 3d Printing Robot Workshop on 3rd Avenue


2011, Angel Franco, New York Times


2011, Angel Franco, New York Times


LAND (non naturale) naturale)

2009, Eymund Diegel, Potential Extent of Superfund Area, based on Culligan Columbia Sanborn Study

2011, John Shapiro

TOXICS CLEANUP

WASTE RECYCLING

Superfund will spend up to 500 million dollars over a decade or more

Export tons per year to China and India

2011 - THE 2 LARGEST INDUSTRIES LEFT ON THE 1776 GOWANUS CANAL ARE NOW BASED ON HUMAN WASTE


1999 

Flushing Tunnel reactivated Gowanus Dredgers founded

2000 2007

Vacant Lots attract Developers Gowanus Community Plan Gowanus Canal Conservancy founded NYC Gowanus Rezoning Plan initiated

2009 2011 

Flushing Tunnel shut down $ 500 million Superfund Cleanup program begins

2012 

$ 175 million Flushing Tunnel Reactivated Bond Lorraine Sewer Rebuilt Gowanus Green Housing Built ? Superfund Cleanup completed

2013  2014  2022


Nat Fein, 1947, Central Park


GOWANUS STAKEHOLDERS


COMMUNITY PLANNERS


DESIGNERS

Exploring Ideas for the Future of the Gowanus 2011 Lowline Competition www.gowanuslowline.org

Red Point Park Jacques Abelman Amsterdam, Netherlands


Sea Level Rise Engineering Solutions ?

Raising Briggs House, Chicago Historical Society, 1855

1858 – The City of Chicago raised 6 feet to solve a sewage problem What are solutions for Gowanus ?


Historical Maps from the Hall of the Gowanus

ARTISTS & POETS

1766

1639

1782

1836

1837

1844

1924

Proteus Gowanus acts as an interpreter of culture and place, deepening the community’s sense of context and connection

Scientific Samples & Data as Art

Katia Kelly, Pardon Me For Asking, 2011

The Star of the Gowanus

Superfund Manager Tsiamis

Bringing Memory Back to Space

Bess Adler, Brooklyn Paper, June 2011

Community Happenings

Education & Outreach

Proteus Gowanus Interdisciplinary Gallery & Reading Room www.proteusgowanus.org


Artists now Colonizing Space and removing pollution of neglect

Anne Percoco , 2011

ECOLOGICAL EXPERIMENTS

SHORELINE ALTERATIONS

ART IN ODD PLACES


ARTSY RECREATION

GOWANUS is a Naturally Occurring Art District

From John Shapiro’s Welcome to Gowanus presentation, Pratt Institute Center for Planning & the Environment, 2011


BERGEN CREEK / BATTLE BRIDGE

Map: Susannah Drake, dlandstudio, 2010

PUBLIC PLACE PARK

SECOND STREET SPONGE PARK

SECOND AVE BIOSWALE BIOSWALE

www.gowanuscanalconservancy.org

ENVIRONMENTALISTS BROUWERS BROUWERS BROOK / DEGRAW ST BIO SWALE FIRST STREET BASIN RESTORATION WHOLE FOODS PARK FOURTH STREET BASIN RESTORATION

OIL POLLUTION

The Gowanus Canal Conservancy


27 March 2011 Grassroots Mapping Kite Aerial

SECOND AVE STREET END SITE AERIAL SHOWING ILLEGAL MOTOR OIL SPILLS


Making the Canal fun while providing information about its water quality to the Community through free boats and education events

REACHING OUT

Come on down !

BOATERS WHEN IT SUCKS, ADVERTISE IT

The Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club www.gowanuscanal.org


A MILLION GALLONS PER DAY OF SEWAGE GO INTO THE CANAL


WHAT ARE COMBINED SEWER OVERFLOWS ? THEY KEEP SEWAGE FROM FLOODING YOUR BASEMENT & ALLOW TOILETS TO WORK DURING HEAVY STORMS


WHAT CAUSES SEWER OVERFLOWS INTO THE CANAL ? RAIN WAS ORIGINALLY MEANT TO HELP FLUSH SEWERS HUMANS HAVE HARDENED THEIR LANDSCAPES SO NOW TOO MUCH RAIN GOES INTO SEWER SYSTEM

CURRENT “SEA LEVEL RISE” IS FROM RUNOFF, NOT MELTING GLACIERS GLOBAL WARMING WILL MAKE THE ABOVE EVEN WORSE IN FUTURE


SOLUTIONS ? SLOW DOWN RAINWATER DISCONNECT ROOF DRAIN FROM SEWER AND LET IT SOAK INTO GARDEN REDUCE CONCRETE IN YOUR HOMES, SCHOOLS & PARKS

A 100% RUNOFF FREE PROPERTY IN THE GOWANUS WATERSHED :

Grass: Albrecht Durer, 1503


NATURE


Gogo the Gowanus Muskrat Mussels: Bob Gusskind, 2007

Muskrat: Adam Katzman, 2011


Gowanda is famous in Japan


What would animal friendly planning look like ? Racoon (Procyon Lotor) Part of a large family living in tunnels underneath the Bat Cave. Wash their pizza crusts in the Gowanus Canal

Eymund Diegel, 9 October 2011


Jellyfish

Lion Mane Jellyfish, (Cyanea capillata) and Algae Gowanus Canal & 2nd Street Ava Chin, June 2010


1922 Citizens Gas Works Crib Bulkhead

WHAT WATER EDGE SUPPORTS LIFE ?


Gowanus Urban Ecology Changes What are Clues to Pollution & Climate Change Adaption by Plants?


Superfund Salad: Gowanus Metallophyte Plants have adapted to heavy metals in human environments


What is a “Native Tree” in a Globally Warmed City? If our urban heat island climate has more in common with Mongolia than Vermont… what plant types should we use to maximize carbon sequestration and city cooling ? Paulownia tomentosa, (Chinese Empress Tree) growing on Smith Street, October 2011, Katia Kelly, Pardon Me For Asking


An Ecological Remnant of the Dutch Global Trade from the 1650’s

It is extremely fragrant Should we use it to Smell Engineer the Canal ? Albizia julibrissin, (Silk Tree ) from Asia, via the Carribean, growing at Subway Art History Museum, Gowanus Canal, June 2011,


ADD MAGNOLIA

Magnolia grandiflora, (Southern Magnolia) growing at 439 Sackett Street near Bond Street, Gowanus Canal, June 2011,


What do we want for OUR city ?

What do YOU think the conversation should be about ?


eymund@gmail.com

This presentation available at www.proteusgowanus.org The Hall of the Gowanus archive


A Visual History of the Gowanus Canal CONDENSED PDF VERSION