Record Display for the EPA National Library Catalog


Main Title Gowanus : Brooklyn's curious canal /
Author Alexiou, Joseph,
Publisher New York University Press,
Year Published 2015
OCLC Number 906010865
ISBN 9781479892945; 1479892947
Subjects Brooklyn (New York, NY)--History ; Gowanus Canal (New York, NY)--History ; Gowanus Canal Region (New York, NY)--Environmental conditions ; Waterfronts--New York (State)--New York--History ; Industrial districts--New York (State)--New York ; Brooklyn (New York, NY)--Social conditions ; Brooklyn (New York, NY)--Commerce--History ; Ecology ; New York (State)--New York--Brooklyn ; New York (State)--New York--Gowanus Canal
Library Call Number Additional Info Location Last
EIAM  F129.B7A43 2015 Region 2 Library/New York,NY 12/09/2019
Collation xiv, 399 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents Notes
Prologue: the tale of Sludgie the Whale -- Millponds, oysters, and early origins (1636-1774) -- Bloody waters (1776) -- The Atlantic docks and basin (1812-1851) -- Sewers, railroads, and the castle on the hill (1851-1857) -- The Brooklyn Improvement Company (1858-1869) -- Foul odors and foiled plots (1870-1885) -- Industry, identity, and violence in Gowanus (1885-1898) -- Strikes, moonshine, and mobs (1902-1949) -- The fall of South Brooklyn and the brownstone revolution (1950-1981) -- Superfund me! (1981-2010) -- Epilogue. "For more than 150 years, Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal has been called a cesspool, an industrial dumping ground, and a blemish on the face of the populous borough -- as well as one of the most important waterways in the history of New York harbor. Yet its true origins, man-made character, and importance to the city have been largely forgotten. Now, New York writer and guide Joseph Alexiou explores how the Gowanus creek -- a naturally-occurring tidal estuary that served as a conduit for transport and industry during the colonial era -- came to play an outsized role in the story of America's greatest city. From the earliest Dutch settlers of New Amsterdam, to nearby Revolutionary War skirmishes, or the opulence of the Gilded Age mansions that sprung up in its wake, historical changes to the Canal and the neighborhood that surround it have functioned as a microcosm of the story of Brooklyn's rapid nineteenth-century growth. Highlighting the biographies of nineteenth-century real estate moguls like Daniel Richards and Edwin C. Litchfield, Alexiou recalls the forgotten movers and shakers that laid the foundation of modern-day Brooklyn. As he details, the pollution, crime, and industry associated with the Gowanus stretch back far earlier than the twentieth century, and helped define the culture and unique character of this celebrated borough. The story of the Gowanus, like Brooklyn itself, is a tale of ambition and neglect, bursts of creative energy, and an inimitable character that has captured the imaginations of city-lovers around the world."--Publisher's description.