Luyster Creek is a beautiful if somewhat neglected corner of Queens, a small off-shoot of the Bowery Bay, the body of water you need to cross to get to Rikers Island. The juxtaposition of the still body of water with the wooden remains of an old raft or dock with the hulking array of industrial plants (power generation and water treatment) to the southeast is striking even in a city where we are used to such things. There was some momentum a couple of years ago to turn the forgotten canal into a park. There was a group set up online called the Luyster Creek Waterfront Park and the Trust for Public Land and a group called Green Shores NYC got as far as creating the rendering below as part of its Waterfront Vision Plan in 2011. The trail goes cold there: our emails to the both groups went unreturned, hardly an encouraging sign. Do any readers have anything to report?
Cities all have their curiosities. One of NYC’s curiosities is Hart Island’s Potter’s Field cemetery, where the unclaimed dead are buried. More than 850,000 have been buried here since 1869. Hart Island is part of The Bronx, but its run by the NYC Department of Correction, which is pretty much a Queens thing.
From the NY Times:
For more than a century, to be buried on Hart Island, off the coast of the Bronx, was to be essentially forgotten.
A man run over by a train with no family to claim his body. A homeless woman who froze to death on a bitterly cold winter’s night with no loved ones to find their way to her. A stillborn baby born to a woman who could not afford to pay for a burial. These are among the approximately 850,000 forlorn souls who since 1869 have been buried in the city’s potter’s field, a 101-acre cemetery just east of City Island.
Now the City and the DOC has developed a website that provides information about some of the people buried on Hart Island.
Image source: Times Ledger
So it looks like the residential conversion of the old Chilton Paint factory (109-09 15th Ave – GMAP) in College Point, which was first planned back in 2005, might finally be happening. According to the Times Ledger, there was a change of ownership, and in August the new owner filed paperwork with the city to get the project back in motion. According to the original 2005 plans, the conversion would turn the building into 134 apartments, the exterior of the building would remain intact, and a public walkway would be built along the waterfront. There would be views of Manhattan, though given where the building is situated LaGuardia airport and Rikers Island seem like they would be in view too.