Monday, November 27, 2006

Gowanus Back in the Day

Vital Waterway

We found this image thanks to Dan at GerritsenBeach.Net who emailed it to say that it might be of interest to GL readers. (The Gerritsen Beach Net blog is excellent and covers a part of our borough that doesn't get a lot of attention. It's on our daily must read list.) Well, we hope so, because it's certainly fascinating to us. The image is part of the Brooklyn Public Library's collection of historic Brooklyn photos, and we'll be running some of the Gowanus Canal images because they're truly treasures and show how different the Big G is today from a half-century ago. The image above, called "Vital Waterway" is captioned as follows:
Old Gowanus, victim of a multitude of gags, rolls along with the help of an impeller which keeps the water moving. Industrial installations important to the life of the borough flank its turgid sides and in the right background may be seen the Williamsburgh Bank Building...Gowanus Canal with view to elevated Smith and Ninth Street subway station and Hamilton Avenue bridge; docked barges and tugboats on canal; warehouses, silos, smokestacks, and industrial debris on both sides of canal; warehouse at left reads, "Cirillo Bros. Coal and Fuel Corp."; silo at right reads, "Cranford Ready Mixed Concrete"; large water tank behind elevated subway tracks; Brooklyn skyline in background.
The image is originally from the Brooklyn Eagle and is dated 1952. It looks like it was shot from the Gowanus Expressway.

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