Thursday, December 08, 2005

History Stonewalls NY Subways

An 18th (perhaps 17th) century wall found 10 feet under in Manhattan.
Three weeks after the Metropolitan Transportation Authority started digging a subway tunnel under Battery Park, the project hit a wall. A really old wall. Possibly the oldest wall still standing in Manhattan.

The top of an old wall was discovered by workers digging a new subway tunnel under Battery Park.

It was a 45-foot-long section of a stone wall that archaeologists believe is a remnant of the original battery that protected the Colonial settlement at the southern tip of the island. Depending on which archaeologist you ask, it was built in the 1760's or as long ago as the late 17th century.

Either way, it would be the oldest piece of a fortification known to exist in Manhattan and the only one to survive the Revolutionary War period, said Joan H. Geismar, president of the Professional Archaeologists of New York City.
Now there's a fight between the preservationists and the Metropolitan Transit Authority. The NYT has more.