January 31st, 2008 -
An abandoned rail line traces the edge of Staten Island's northern shore. Before moving inland into a series of abandoned stations, the line passes by decommissioned factories, several shipyards, a homemade BMX stunt track, and travels over sandy beaches littered with debris. In some places, the rails hang unsupported in mid-air. In others, fisherman make use of the old tracks to reach their private fishing platforms. The north shore of Staten Island is still a wild place, where birdwatchers, abandoned boats and heavy industry collide.
The old North Shore Train Line was built in 1883 and abandoned in 1953. The westernmost section of track, serving the Arthur Kill and connecting to New Jersey, was recently renovated and reopened in 2007. According the the Mayors Office, this reactivation "...creates more than 330 permanent jobs and reduces truck traffic on [Staten] Island by 100,000 trips per year." A $360 million plan to reactivate the entire north shore line are being considered by congress. More information on the train line can be found at Forgotten New York. More photos from Staten Island can be seen here on Flickr.
January 16th, 2008 -
Building 128 is a complex of massive warehouses inside the Brooklyn Navy Yard, "as big and hulking as an airport hangar," according to the NY Times. Building 128 was built in 1899, and was a "steel structure... used to assemble large boiler engines and fabricated sections of naval vessels," according to Historic Structures - a document from the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. It is currently slated for destruction, as "BNYDC will adaptively reuse the building’s foundation and steel and develop a Food Complex."
According to Mayor Bloomberg this adaptive reuse means "partial demolition," as "three new industrial buildings will replace a large, deteriorating structure." A Mayor's Office press release states these new buildings will contain "over 300,000 square feet of food manufacturing and processing space." As demolition proceeds on this historic structure, Mayor Bloomberg unveiled a mural from Building 128 as "the first artifact in the Historical Center" at the Navy Yard.
The following photographs take a last look at the interior of this 109 year old complex.
For more photoessays from the Brooklyn Navy Yard, click here.