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Let’s look at the boundaries of the sixth boro, using as reference two of the Holland Tunnel vent structures; as you see in that link, we’ll call New Jersey “land ventilation station” (to the left) and “river ventilation station” to the right. I took this foto yesterday from the 18th floor of a building in Battery Park City. I will re-take this when I find a higher platform.
Here’s Seth’s foto from about 30 years ago, slightly higher and to the north. Note the pier building then between the two ventilation stations. Also notice the two angled piers and all the vacant land between there and the rail lines in Hoboken to the north. I’m not sure of the name of the inlet between the “vacant” land and the railyards near the top of the foto.
Here’s another shot I took yesterday showing the area between the river ventilation station and the building with the greenish roof, now called the Hoboken Yard and Terminal for New Jersey Transit.
Here’s Seth’s foto from 30 years ago taken from near the land ventilator station looking north toward the Hoboken Yard and Terminal.
If the changes in the sixth boro boundaries interest you, then the book to get is Thomas R. Flagg’s vol. 2 of New York Harbor Railroads in Color is the book to get. Tom–a friend–took this foto in 1975 from the air. In the lower left, notice the base of the river ventilation station. Using that as reference and moving to the right (northward), you have a sense of what that space looked like before the building boom.
From page 98 of Tom’s book, here’s the space in Jersey City south of the river ventilation station looking over to Manhattan. The large pier to the left of the New York river ventilation station is Pier 40.
And finally, from page 99 of Tom’s book, taken from Manhattan in September 1967 by Allan Roberts, . . . possibly the World Trade Center, looking NW toward NJ, locate the two ventilation stations. And . .. yes . . . that’s the SS United States.
The waterfront . . .it has experienced a sea change from 30 years ago to now. And stormy Sandy of seven months ago intimates that all this relatively rapid building on reclaimed land at sea level in the next 30 years could again experience a sea change.
Many thanks to Seth Tane and Thomas R. Flagg for use of their fotos.
Check out these additional fotos. Orient yourself with the ventilation stations here.
Back three decades again with more fotos by Seth Tane, in this case with some vessels now considered dead.
Foto #1. QM2 assisted at the dock by Diana L. Moran, a 1956 Jakobson boat now seven years scrapped.
Foto #2. Rio la Plata. Here’s what Harold Tartell has to say about her: ” In 1984, RIO LA PLATA was built [by Sanchez Marine Services of Fall River, MA]. At the time Turecamo was quite busy, short on boats, and chartered the boat with the option to buy. Turecamo also had another tug on charter from Tidewater Marine Services around the same time period. She was EL ZORRO GRANDE. She was to be renamed HELEN J. TURECAMO, but I never saw a photo of her officially with that name affixed. She was sold to Dunlap Towing Co., LaConner, Wa., & renamed MANFRED NYSTROM. In 1987, RIO LA PLATA went West to become Oscar Niemeth Towing’s SILVER EAGLE. She is still in service.”
Foto #4. ”The red canaller towing the two light oil barges is Morania Oil Tanker Corporation’s MORANIA NO. 8.”
Foto #5. ”JULIAN A was built 1943 By George Lawley & Soms, Neponset Ma., as DPC-28, WSA-22, WOTOCO, GAY MORAN (1967). In 1972, she became JULIAN A. owned by Julian A. Corp. In the early 1980′s she was owned by River Towing Corp. name unchanged. She was later sold to Raymond Connelly Shamrock Marine Corp. & renamed INTREPID. By 2001 her existence was in doubt,” Harold.
Here’s the class of Army DPCs. In this foto, Julian A was towing salvaged scalloper Fatima from Massachusetts waters to the sixth boro, where her engine parts would be used in a restoration project. Not long after this foto was taken, the tug was searched by the federal agents who found $32 million of marijuana.
Foto #6. About the yard vessel sporting the flag and striped stack, Harold says, “ JOE WEBER McAllister’s little yard tug at Tug & Barge Drydocks, Jersey City. They built her in 1975. She was later sold to Miller Launch, & is now MILLER GIRLS.”
Click here and jump ahead to 1983 in this fascinating compilation of Jersey City history from 4.6 billion years ago to the present for a reference to the now-gone McAllister Tug & Barge Drydocks. Click here for a tugster foto of Miller Girls.
Foto #7. Harold says, “I’m having a little difficulty indentifying. Under the handrails on the lower small white panel near the pilothouse door, it appears to read N.J. MATHER. I will continue to work on it.” Any ideas? She seems narrow boat; someone with long arms in the wheelhouse could have a hand out each each at the same time.
Foto #8. On the Morris Canal . . . here’s a foto I wish I could truly travel back in time to see. Part of the house seems to be a huge rectangular tank. Up high the sign says “nite blues limited.” Anyone know the story? The Morris Canal today has changed. Anyone have water-focused fotos of the Canal you are willing to share on tugster? Type morris canal into the search window and you’ll find lots more fotos.
I’m eager for your interpretation of these fotos of a lost sixth boro, captured on fotos of Seth Tane.
Graves of Arthur Kill has archival footage of a boneyard on the Arthur Kill from about the same era. I’d love to see more fotos of what was new and what was derelict in the sixth boro from then and before.
Elapsed time from the first to last foto in this batch is five minutes . . . what it takes to travel from the Erie Lackawanna terminal south to the old NJ Central Railroad Station. Know what this gray vessel is? Doubleclick enlarges.
For a sense of what the Jersey City waterfront looked like a half century ago, see wavz13′s fantastic set of flickr fotos here. The yellowish cube on the right side of the foto (stern of vessel) is a Holland Tunnel ventilator. A matching vent on the Manhatan side of the river can be seen on wavz13′s foto.
All these fotos come compliments of bowsprite; I’ve always felt blessed to have her eyes on the sixth boro at times and in places mine are not.
Carrying the Hyatt here is LCU-2011 Chickhominy, the number NOT indicative of the year of launch/delivery, which was late September 1990.
Click here for close-ups of the vessel.
Where it was headed that day–mid-September I don’t know. My guess is that it started in West Point, but that’s just a guess. Google shows it in various places along the Atlantic seaboard in the early months of 2011.