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New York Waterfront: Evolution and Building Culture of the Port and Harbor

Bone, Kevin [ed.]

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ISBN 10: 1885254547 / ISBN 13: 9781885254542
Published by The Monacelli Press, New York, 1997
Condition: Fine Soft cover
From Great Expectations Rare Books (Staten Island, NYC, NY, U.S.A.)

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Large trade paperback. 280pp., Chronology, Glossary, Bibliography. Essays by Mary Beth Betts; Eugenia Bone; Gina Pollara; Donald Squires, et alia. Illustrated with photographs by Stanley Greenberg. First edition. "An unprecedented documentation of the rise and fall of waterfront's architectural, technological, industrial, and commercial existence over the past 150 years." No previous ownership marks. A very clean, square, fresh and unmarked copy, as new. Fine. Bookseller Inventory # 011713

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Bibliographic Details

Title: New York Waterfront: Evolution and Building ...

Publisher: The Monacelli Press, New York

Publication Date: 1997

Binding: Soft cover

Book Condition:Fine

Edition: First Edition

About this title


Created by a team of architects, historians, teachers, and students, The New York Waterfront is an unprecedented documentation of the rise and fall of the waterfront's architectural, technological, industrial, and commercial existence over the past 150 years. This densely illustrated book vividly presents and preserves the waterfront's development. Superb watercolor, ink, and pencil drawings—some specially created for this publication—as well as rare historic pictures, aerial photographs, and maps culled from a wide variety of sources and reproduced here for the first time, make this book the most comprehensive study on the subject. Newly commissioned photographs by Stanley Greenberg supplement this already rich array of images, often bringing out the melancholy beauty of the waterfront in its present derelict state.

Also seen here are many major modern sites—the Red Hook Water Pollution Control Plant, the Port Authority Grain Elevators, the Fresh Kills Landfill, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard—capturing the nameless, inhospitable tracts whose only landmarks are the rusting remains of a once vital commercial life. This illustrative material, together with a series of informative texts written by critics and scholars, reveals a complete picture of the New York waterfront through contemporary projects and visionary proposals, environmental plans and master-planning, built and unbuilt waterfront structures (pier warehouses, recreation piers, markets, and ferry terminals), in addition to a meticulous analysis of a variety of documents and records.

The New York Waterfront offers a unique perspective on waterfront building so that the lessons of the past can inform decisions about the future. This publication also inspires us to strive for an equivalent greatness when designing the urban fabric of the twenty-first century, the kind of greatness in public works that has in the past distinguished New York City.


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.

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