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New York Waterfront: Evolution and Building Culture of the Port and Harbor Paperback – November 10, 2003
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Ever since Peter Stuyvesant established the first pier in the 1640s, the New York City waterfront has been a hotbed of controversy and conflicting special interests. Not until 1871 did the city institute the Department of Docks to bring some order to the port and harbor; prior to that, the city's 112 piers were all under the authority of different agencies, and by the 1870s the entire infrastructure had decayed; wooden wharves were dilapidated, rat-infested, and unsafe. To impose some method upon the maritime madness, the city created its Department of Docks under General George B. McClellan. For 60 years the waterfront thrived, until New Jersey replaced New York as a final destination for container ships; now the area is once again in decline.
In The New York Waterfront, historians, students, architects, and teachers take a look at where the port and harbor have been and speculate about their future. The six essays in this book offer both a historical context and a commentary on solutions, both hypothetical and those in-progress. It is as much about New York's civic culture as about its waterfront, and thus it's a fascinating read, even for those without a vested interest in the future of the harbor.
The authors of the essays in The New York Waterfront: Evolution and Building Culture of the Port and Harbor want New Yorkers to take a close look at the city's "forgotten edge," a sorry fringe of derelict structures that, the authors say, represents one of the country's great opportunities in urban planning. -- The New York Times Book Review, William Grimes
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What I found handy while reading the book was to use Google earth maps to see the area deing described in the book.
The book is well written and contains wonderful drawings "some way to small" plus it offers a possible look at the future of New York's waterfront