Brooklyn Basin, 1907

The Brooklyn Basin was part of Beard estate, south of his Erie Basin on the other side of Columbia Street, also known as the "Long Dock." Unlike Erie Basin, the Beard Estate never developed Brooklyn Basin and for that reason and others there was speculation in 1907 that C.W. Morse a steamship magnate might purchase it.

An article in the Brooklyn Eagle described the Brooklyn Basin as "including several acres of water extending in the direction of the Gowanus Canal as far as the Pollion Shipyard, which, with the Downing and Lawrence Shipyard, alone separate it from the Canal."  The basin has been used for storing lumber and sailing vessels, but as no piers or warehouses were built, the article argues that, it was a clean slate for a major shipping concern.

Like many other visions for the basin, this one did not come to pass.  The one that built was later described as a magnificent boondoggle:  The Red Hook Grain Terminal built in 1922 by New York State to serve the New York State Canal System.  It was hoped that the terminal would bolster New York's grain trade but by the outset there was not enough grain being shipped by barges to make the large grain storage elevator successful.  The Port Authority of New York and NJ took over control of the elevator in 1944 and decommissioned it in 1965.

Share this Item