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July 15, 2010

18th-Century Ship Found at Trade Center Site

City Room
by David W. Dunlap

How does the discovery of a 200-some-odd-year-old ship relate to the saga of Atlantic Yards? Read on.

In the middle of tomorrow, a great ribbed ghost has emerged from a distant yesterday.

On Tuesday morning, workers excavating the site of the underground vehicle security center for the future World Trade Center hit a row of sturdy, upright wood timbers, regularly spaced, sticking out of a briny gray muck flecked with oyster shells.

Obviously, these were more than just remnants of the wooden cribbing used in the late 18th and early 19th centuries to extend the shoreline of Manhattan Island ever farther into the Hudson River. (Lower Manhattan real estate was a precious commodity even then.)

“They were so perfectly contoured that they were clearly part of a ship,” said A. Michael Pappalardo, an archaeologist with the firm AKRF, which is working for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to document historical material uncovered during construction.

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NoLandGrab: Clearly, AKRF has its claws in nearly every major (and majorly subsidized) construction project in New York City. We've been unable to ascertain, however, whether the World Trade Center Environmental Impact Statement claimed that the project would have "no adverse impact on maritime operations in lower Manhattan."

Posted by eric at July 15, 2010 9:48 AM