D. T. Valentine's History of Broadway Pre: 1865 Part V

 
 
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Broadway At Canal Street Pages: 604-608

The subject of draining the Fresh Water Pond, and filling up the meadows extending to the North river, occasioned great discussion, and a variety of plans, which were changed, from time to time, as occasion seemed to demand.

The history of the meadows and pond has been given in former numbers of the Manual, and will not be recapitulated, except to say, in brief, that the meadows had been granted to Colonel Rutgers, who, previous to the Revolution, had constructed a drain from the pond to the river.

The first indication of any bridge crossing this drain occurs in a map executed during the revolutionary war, and, inasmuch as no mention is made of action in the premises by the city authorities, and furthermore, considering that the structure known to have been erected was of too substantial a character, and too obviously designed for public travel to admit the idea that it was constructed by the owners of the swamp, we are left to the inference that the stone bridge was a military work, designed to connect the extensive fortifications on the Kalckhook and Bayard's farm. The bridge was erected on the line of Broadway, and was commonly known as the stone or arch bridge.

Soon after the Revolution, measures were taken for the improvement of the pond and meadows, for which purpose commissioners were appointed under an act of the Legislature. Confining our attention to the meadows, we shall briefly note, in chronological order, the proceedings appearing in the Common Council minutes.

1792. Ordered that the Commissioners under act for regulating the meadows, be informed that it is the wish of the Common Council that they proceed.

1796. A Committee to confer with proprietors along the line of the proposed canal.

1796. Proprietors to be asked to cede land, so that the canal may be forty feet wide, with street on each side thirty feet wide.

1796. Project submitted by Messrs. Mangin, Engineers, for converting the pond into a dock for shipping, with access by canal through the meadows.

Between 1798 and 1804. Plan adopted for filling the pond with earth from the adjacent hills.

Between 1798 and 1804. Report on opening a canal from Broadway to the Hudson river.

Between 1798 and 1804. Order for opening immediately.

Between 1798 and 1804. Committee for reporting a plan, discharged.

Between 1798 and 1804. Resolution to make a tunnel or sewer from the East to the North river.

Between 1798 and 1804. Cessions of ground to be obtained.

1805. Report in favor of an open canal to pass through a street one hundred feet wide.

1807. Memorial by city council to legislature for appointment of commissioners, setting forth their difficulty of regulating and improving the streets in the meadows.

1808. Memorial of owners, stating that the various plans for regulating Canal street have proved prejudicial, and that any one plan, however imperfect, would be better than such frequent fluctuations.

1809. Gouverneur Morris and Samuel De Witt, who had been appointed commissioners, resigned; James Fairlie and Samuel Russell appointed; Mr. Fairlee declines; Mr. Rutherford declines; Wm. H. Ireland and Daniel Ebbets appointed.

The width of the ditch through the meadows was from six to eight feet. Mr. Duggan erected his tannery on the meadows, in the vicinity of the present southwest, corner of Broadway and Canal street. His residence occupied a site at about the present line of Lispenard street.

 

Website: The History Box.com
Article Name: D.T. Valentine's History of Broadway Pre: 1865 Part V
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina

Source:

BIBLIOGRAPHY: From My Collection of Books: Manual of the Corporation of the City of New York by D.T. Valentine 1865
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