Gowanus Canal Study

Chrysalis developed an archaeological assessment of this Brooklyn industrial area as part of the Gowanus Canal historic district expansion proposal.

Project Documents

Abandoned 19th century warehouse, a remnant of the Gowanus area's industrial history
Abandoned 19th century warehouse, a remnant of the Gowanus area's industrial history
Chrysalis performed an archaeological assessment of the Gowanus Canal area as part of an overall historic archaeological and architectural survey. Chrysalis worked with Gregory Dietrich Preservation Consulting to assist the Friends and Residents of the Greater Gowanus in their mission to establish an expanded historic district for the area. The Gowanus Canal was cut into the Gowanus Creek in the southwest area of Brooklyn, NY in the 1860s in an attempt to expand shipping routes for the thriving industrial and manufacturing community that had grown in the region during the 19th century. The Gowanus Canal was originally a boon to one of the nation's largest shipping districts, but through the decline of water transportation and poor functionality of the canal's currents, the waterway morphed into a polluted and stagnant channel. Over the course of renewed commercial and residential activity in the region, the Gowanus Canal has become a symbol of the changing nature of political and economic interest in southwest Brooklyn.

Chrysalis's assessment focused on the Gowanus District's industrial history as well as the area's involvement in the Revolutionary War, especially the Battle of Brooklyn and possible burial site of the Maryland 400, a band of American soldiers who sacrificed their regiment in order to protect General Washington's retreat. This assessment was formally submitted to the New York State Historic Preservation Office as part of the ongoing work toward establishing the historical significance of this area.