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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

New York, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Bulkhead Line Est. by Dept. of Docks in 1871

 
 
Bulkhead Line Est. by Dept. of Docks in 1871 plaque image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, October 13, 2019
1. Bulkhead Line Est. by Dept. of Docks in 1871 plaque
Inscription.  
This line in the pavement represents the western edge of Manhattan in 1871. By that time, the shoreline had already been extended well to the west of the original location, which lay along present day Greenwich Street. The fill that expanded the island contains timber, cribbing, soils from the leveling of hills, debris, and even scuttled boats, which helped to stabilize the made land.
The bulkhead is not only a line recorded on city maps. It is also a series of physical retaining structures extending from Battery Place northward to 59th Street, built and re-built over time in sections. The section at West Thames Street was concrete with timber vertical piles and inclined bracing piles. The piers that once crowded the Hudson River shoreline of Lower Manhattan were largely removed in the late 1960s, and soil from the excavation for the First World Trade Center was used to create more new land, today’s Battery Park City. The historic bulkhead wall was buried at that time.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Man-Made Features.
 
Location. 40° 42.475′ 
Bulkhead Line Est. by Dept. of Docks in 1871 plaque site image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, October 13, 2019
2. Bulkhead Line Est. by Dept. of Docks in 1871 plaque site
The plaque is the small rectangle set into the pavement to the left.
Everything beyond it was once under water.
N, 74° 0.976′ W. Marker is in New York, New York. Marker can be reached from the intersection of West Thames Street and Little West Street when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: New York NY 10003, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Downtown Athletic Club (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); The West Street Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); American Stock Exchange (approx. 0.2 miles away); Thomas Randall (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Cherub Gate (approx. 0.2 miles away); Birthplace of Columbia University (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Anne Frank Tree (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named American Stock Exchange (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
 
Also see . . .  The Changing Shoreline of New York City. NYPL map with a "now and then" juxtaposition. (Submitted on August 1, 2020, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.) 
 
The plaque and the bulkhead line image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, October 13, 2019
3. The plaque and the bulkhead line
Bulkhead Line plaque image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, October 13, 2019
4. Bulkhead Line plaque
The plaque is misoriented. To show its proper relationship to the area, it should be rotated about 90 degrees to the right.
The Battery Park City landfill image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, 1979.
5. The Battery Park City landfill
Taken from the World Trade center rooftop observation deck, 1979. To show how massive the fill is, the plaque would be somewhere near the edge of the white building in the foreground.
Manhattan, 1936 image. Click for full size.
By Unknown, 1936
6. Manhattan, 1936
The bulkhead line is clearly visible along the west side. Piers 4 & 5 jut straight out on the lower left.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 1, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 1, 2020, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 38 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 1, 2020, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.
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Aug. 4, 2020