Secrets of the Gowanus Canal Walking Tour
In 1922, the New York Times announced that the Gowanus Canal was “one of the dirtiest, one of the shortest and one of the most important waterways in the world.” At the time, more than 26,000 barges and boats would chug up the 1.8 mile long waterway, dropping off precious cargoes of everything from coffee to coal amidst the pungent regular overflow of Brooklyn’s combined sewer system. We are excited to host a tour of the Secrets of the Gowanus Canal led by writer Joseph Alexiou, author of "Gowanus: Brooklyn’s Curious Canal", a source for our popular article on the canal’s historical secrets. On this tour, learn how real estate speculation and Gilded Age denizens transformed the once naturally-occurring creek and salt marsh into a stinking cesspool and toxic dump. Although the barges are long gone, the sewage remains—as does toxic waste and the architectural monuments to Brooklyn’s industrial heyday. The landscape of industrial buildings that remained are transforming the neighborhood into a creative hub, in turn encouraging a flurry of new development.
Untapped Cities unearths New York City’s most unique and surprising places, stories and events for the inquisitive reader. We are a community of over 500 passionate contributors, interested in what’s hidden and unnoticed, and how our history informs city life now and in the future. Now offering behind the scenes tour in these off the beaten places.
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