Monday, February 9, 2015

go figure

That’s the Spuyten Duyvil Bridge over the Harlem River near Marble Hill.

Here’s the same area in 1883:


So Manhattan’s on the left and the Bronx is on the right.


Well yes. And no.

Marble Hill-- named for the marble quarried for the Federal Courthouses downtown--is in the Bronx and legally a part of Manhattan.

In the years after our ClockTower was completed, larger merchant ships in the Harlem River had a hard time getting up and over Marble Hill, then a section of Manhattan.

In 1895 the Harlem River Ship Canal was dug cutting off Marble Hill and making it an island, but still part of Manhattan.

You can see it here in a map from 1896.

Notice how the Canal was cut right through the white marble.
Harper's Weekly, February 16th, 1895: The New Ship-Canal
Connecting the Harlem and Hudson Rivers.
The Bronx was created on January 1, 1914 
by an act of the New York State Legislature. 
But later that year the old river was filled in, 
connecting Marble Hill to the Bronx.

So Marble Hill is on the North American mainland 
and clearly in the Bronx.

Yet legally, part of Manhattan.

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