Monday, November 19, 2018

What lies beneath 9th Street and 3rd Avenue?



An EVG reader shared these photos of some type of underground brick vaults that a construction crew unearthed earlier today while doing road work... taken on the northeast corner of Ninth Street and Third Avenue.

Per the reader: "Would imagine they have something to do with structures originally along Stuyvesant Street, which means they could be very old. Not an expert on dating cellar construction."





EVG Underground Brick Vault correspondent Steven took these pics...







Perhaps we can find out what this was part of... maybe something to do with the elevated train that ran north-south along Third Avenue ... or the trolley system near here.

Anyway! Here are some photos of the area via the NYPL Digital Collections ... this is described as "Third Avenue, looking North from the 9th Street station of the Third Avenue L" from October 1927...



... a similar view, but from 1880 (and an early Instagram daredevil on the tracks)...



... and "27-29 Third Avenue, at and adjoining the S.E. corner of Stuyvesant Street. May 18, 1934." (Basically where the Bean is today...)



Updated 11/20
See the comments for more possible explanations of what these bricks might be part of... ———>

Previously on EV Grieve:
Reader report: Workers dig up streetcar tracks on 3rd Avenue

14 comments:

Yannie said...

Wasn't this area once part of the original Stuyvesant family farm/estate? In which case it could indeed be very, very old. If it were associated with trolleys or trains, the construction material of choice would be steel.

Yannie said...

According to https://www.6sqft.com/peter-stuyvesants-nyc-from-the-bouwerie-farm-to-that-famous-pear-tree/ , these vaults could be New-Amsterdam-old! This area was certainly part of the original Petrus Stuyvesant farm/estate that he called the Bouwerij (or the Bouwerie), that he established while he was the Dutch Director-General of the colony of New Netherland from 1647 to 1664. The boundaries of the 64-acre property were East 23rd St. to the north, East 6th St. to the south, 4th Avenue to the west, and Avenue C to the east.

Super-exciting! I hope they do not just fill it in without further excavation!

rubygirl said...

Omg! That last photo is of an early Kamenstein’s! Take a closer look at the sign! When I moved here in ‘69 that spot was the best hardware and housewares store that ever was.

blue glass said...

looks like the over 100-year-old brick vaulted ceiling in our building's basement.

Anonymous said...

There were vaults underneath the sidewalks to store coal. maybe that is what this is.

Patricia Kennealy Morrison said...

Hellmouth?

JIM MARKOWICH said...

I'd bet my bottom dollar that the last photo was shot by Percy Loomis Sperr.

I'd bet a whole lot less than that on the vaulted structure being Benjamin Winthrop's wine cellar...

1234 said...

Part of the farm... More likely it's got something to do with the streams and such below the city, like the Minetta

DrBOP said...

Drumpf just tweeted that this is obviously a tunnel from Mexico for illegal immigrants

Drumpf just twittered that this is part of the foundation for The Wall Around NYC (30 years too late and, of course, misplaced)

Drumpf just twatted that this was the original inspiration for his imaginary DrainTheSwamp program

Drumpf just trolled that this was the location of Hilary's secret servers (and Ivankkka was just borrowing it)

Yannie said...

@Patricia Kennealy Morrison Ooooo, I want to change my guess to "Hellmouth"!

John M said...

Not deep enough to be from the original farm, I don't think. The coal vaults seems like the most likely explanation.

Anonymous said...

Real Estate developers securing the subterranean rights.

Also where the folks from the latter of the Bridge and Tunnel crowd are coming from when invading EV esp. on the weekends.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps they are related to the underground burial chambers of St. Mark's Church?

Unknown said...

Hope an archaeologist takes a look to see if something of historic value is contained within the stuctures.
BTW, Kaminstein's was a great hardware store. It had so many useful things.