11/12/12

What's Going on at 8th Street and 3rd Avenue in Gowanus?


Update:

The NYC School Construction Authority, after TRC Senior Project Manager Charles Guder received the following letter from Eymund Diegel, hired an archeologist.
"RE: ARCHEOLOGICAL SENSITIVITY OF THE 170 8TH STREET, BROOKLYN (MARYLANDER BURIAL GROUND) SITE
Dear Mr. Guder
My name is Eymund Diegel, and I help put together historical maps and research for local Gowanus history groups, including Proteus Gowanus and the US Environmental Protection Agency's Gowanus Superfund Archeological Committee.

I noticed your team had started drilling work this morning on the 170 8th Street site in Brooklyn (alternate addresses are 197 to 201 9th Street, or BrooklynBlock01003Lot0011)

I just wanted to alert you to the fact that the site is archeologically sensitive.

We just posted a historical research note on the site for Veteran's Day: 
Raising the Dead: Grassroots Mappers Help Look for America's First Veteran Cemetery

Based on confirming research, community groups will be seeking to have the site designated a federal historic landmark site.

As such, we would be most interested in any findings your team comes up with in terms of your test boring results, especially those showing archeological debris.

I asked your team members to save some of the soil samples after you have finished analyzing them.

Proteus Gowanus collects soil samples from historical sites around the neighborhood, and would much appreciate a specimen from the historic Marylander Hill site.

I would be happy to talk with the Fried family about their plans for the site, and alternate scenarios for this unique national resource.

We would also be happy to share material that we have on the site with the property owners and TRC Solutions.
Sincerely..."
According to emails this morning from Bob Furman of the Brooklyn Preservation Council and Emily Nosko of Brownstoner, workers from Land Air Water Environmental Services, Inc. were seen and photographed this morning taking borings at a vacant lot at 8th Street and 3rd Avenue in Gowanus that preservationists believe is the burial place of the illustrious Maryland Regiment, heroes of the Battle of Brooklyn.

Observers speculated that the owner may have put the lot on the market, but there is no matching evidence in the public records, and no construction permits are pending in the city Department of Buildings' BIS database.

A spokesperson for Land Air Water said that the company is a subcontractor for TRC Environmental.

When contacted, TRC, which frequently contracts with the City of New York, declined to discuss the project, beyond saying that the company was doing soil testing.

A TRC spokesperson told preservationists that, based on the information provided to TRC, its client, the New York City School Construction Authority (NYCSCA), has decided to take a step back and assess the situation. TRC will not be working at the site tomorrow.

According to TRC, the site is still privately owned, and the NYCSCA was doing some preliminary exploration in connection with a possible plan to buy the site and build a school there.

The SCA, jointly funded by the city and state of New York, has been on a school-building spree during the economic downturn. The "Green Church" school at Ovington and Fourth Avenues in Bay Ridge is one of several new schools the SCA has built in Southwest Brooklyn since 2008.

The school construction boom has resulted in a ten-fold increase in payouts for construction-related accidents at SCA sites. 

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