Right: Archaeological Discovery
While excavating to build Imagination Playground, archeologists uncovered buried wharfs. Codswise's Wharf, along John Street, was built between 1803 and 1807 by George Codwise Jr., a prominent New York merchant. Remsen's Wharf, at Burling Slip and Front Street, was built about ten years earlier.
What is a Wharf?
A wharf is a structure that extends from the shore into a harbor to serve as a docking place for ships. The wharfs on this site was built of pine and hemlock timbers from the Hudson Valley, which were stacked horizontally and notched together like the walls of a log house.
Left: Making Land
As the leading port in New York City, the South Street Seaport was an international center of commerce by the mid-19th century. Making land along the waterfront was common in New York City from the earliest settlement through recent times. Approximately one third of Manhattan's current landmass south of City Hall is comprised of artificially made land.
Slips provided a place for ships to dock between wharfs. Over time, slips were extended into the river. Most of the made land in the city was built through this progressive process of "wharfing out."
Did you know? The place where you are standing used to be under the East River.