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Showing posts from 2012

Ferry Point Park, The Bronx

Ferry Point Park is a park located in the Throggs Neck section of the Bronx along the East River and Westchester Creek.  The park spans 413.8 acres.

The neighborhood "Throggs Neck" takes its name from John Throgmorton who obtained a license on October 6, 1642 from Niew Amsterdam's Governor to settle in the area.  The area served primarily as farm land for families for the next two centuries.

In 1850 the land that will become Ferry Point Park is purchased by Augustus diZerega and Jacob Lorillard, a shipping tycoon and a tobacco manufacturer, respectively.

In 1916, the land is sold to the Catholic House of the Good Shepherd.

The original parcel of Ferry Point Park totaled 171 acres and came under the jurisdiction of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation in 1937.  It was purchased by New York City from the Roman Catholic House of the Good Shepherd during the acquisition of land for the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, which was completed in 1939.  The Hutchinson Ri…

Fort Totten, Queens

Fort Totten Park is a former United States Army installation in Bayside, Queens on the north shore of Long Island. Decommissioned as a military base in the 1970s, Fort Totten is located at the head of Little Neck Bay where the East River widens to become the Long Island Sound. Although the United States Army Reserve maintains a presence since 1974, the property is currently owned by the City of New York.
Construction began in 1862 after the United States government purchased the land from the Willet family.  The former federal military base was composed of 93 acres.  Plans for the Civil War-era project were initially prepared by Captain Robert E. Lee in 1857.  Construction was undertaken five years later to protect the eastern approach of New York Harbor from the Confederate States, along with Fort Schuyler across the East River in the Bronx.
The fort was named for General Joseph Gilbert Totten (1788-1864), Chief Engineer of the United States Army, regent of the Smithsonian Institution,…

Shore Acres, Staten Island

Shore Acres  is a neighborhood in eastern Staten Island, between Rosebank and Fort Wadsworth.  The area remains today a secluded enclave of pricey, waterfront homes.  The neighborhood's generally agreed boundaries are Bay Street to the West, Nautilus Street to the North, New York Bay to the East and Arthur Von Briesen Park to the South.

The serene Von Briesen Park is 12.77 acres.  The site of Von Briesen Park was the former estate of Arthur Von Briesen (1843-1920).  Von Briesen was a native of Germany, a sergeant during the Civil War and New York lawyer.  In 1876, Von Briesen helped found the German Legal Aid Society which provided free legal services to poor German immigrants in New York.  After rising to the position of President of the society, Von Briesen argued for the broadening of benefits to all immigrants and in 1896 the society changed their name to the Legal Aid Society.  The Legal Aid Society in New York City is the nation's oldest and largest provider of legal serv…

Holland Tunnel, Manhattan

The first automobile tunnel built under the Hudson River was the Holland Tunnel, opened to vehicular traffic on November 13, 1927.  The Holland Tunnel was formerly named the Hudson River Vehicular Tunnel or the Canal Street Tunnel.  Today it is named for it's chief engineer Clifford Milburn Holland (1883-1924).

Beginning in 1906, a joint commission of New York and New Jersey explored the possibility of construction of a roadway crossing to connect the states.  After design proposals from various engineers including George Goethals, and the firm of Jacobs and Davies, the design of two separate tubes by Clifford Holland was chosen.  In 1919, Holland was named Chief Engineer of the project.

On February 1, 1920 funds were appropriated for construction by the New Jersey Interstate Bridge and Tunnel Commission and the New York State Bridge and Tunnel Commission.  Construction of the Hudson River Vehicular Tunnel Project began on March 31, 1922 at the corner of Canal Street and West S…

Greenwich Village, Manhattan

Greenwich Village or "The Village" extends from Houston north to West 14th Street and from Broadway west to the Hudson River.

Greenwich is Anglicized from the Dutch Greenwijck (meaning pine district) into the same name as the borough of London.

Greenwich Village has many streets named for Revolutionary War heroes:

MacDougal Street - named for Alexander McDougall (1731-1786) a leader of the Sons of Liberty, major general in the Continental Army, a NY State Senator and the first President of New York Bank.

Mercer Street - named for Hugh Mercer (1726-1777) a Brigadier General and close friend of George Washington. Died as a result of wounds received in the Battle of Princeton.

Thompson Street - named for William Thompson (1736-1781) a Brigadier General of the War.
Wooster Street - named for David Wooster (1711-1777) a General of the War.
Greene Street - named for Nathanael Greene (1742-1786)  a General of the War.LaGuardia Place - named for Fiorello H. LaGuardia, mayor of New York Cit…

East River

The East River is technically a tidal strait. It separates Manhattan and the Bronx from Brooklyn and Queens. It was once also known as the Sound River due to its connection to the Long Island Sound. The Bronx River drains into the East River in the northern section. The Bronx Kill empties into the East River 
as well. Along the east of Ward's Island it narrows into a channel called "Hell Gate." On the south-side of Ward's Island it is joined by the Harlem River. Lastly, Newtown Creek drains into the East River as well.

Verrazano Narrows Bridge

The Verrazano Narrows Bridge spans 7,200 feet from the Brooklyn Anchorage to the Staten Island Anchorage. Compare that to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California which spans 4,620 feet or the George Washington Bridge in New York City, New York at 3,500 feet.

The Bridge is named for Giovanni Di Verrazano, the Italian explorer who discovered New York Harbor in 1524.

Construction of the bridge was overseen by Robert Moses, who at the time was Commissioner of New York State Parks and head of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority. Construction began on August 13, 1959 and the upper deck was completed on November 21, 1964. The lower deck was completed on June 28, 1969. At it's completion in 1964, the bridge took the title of the longest suspension bridge in the World from the Golden Gate Bridge and held the title until 1981when the Humber Bridge in England was completed.

The pillar of the Brooklyn tower was built on an existing island off of Brooklyn's pier line th…