Filling up the Kingsbridge Saltmarshes

Home Forums 20th Century Filling up the Kingsbridge Saltmarshes

Viewing 4 reply threads
  • Author
    • #3307

        We received a good question from a local resident and I am crowdsourcing it to our members:

        Hi! I’m a Kingsbridge resident curious about what was used as backfill to make the neighborhood dry ground out of the former wetlands it once was? What comprises the ground that our houses are built on? I appreciate your help!

        Tidal salt marshes made up a great deal of historic Kingsbridge but after 1900 sewers were put in, Tibbetts Brook was buried, and the low lying areas were raised with fill.  And it was no small amount of fill.  Scenes like this were common around the neighborhood:

        That’s 231st Street east of Broadway.  The sewers that look like smoke stacks here were built directly on top of the old streets and then fill was dumped to bring the street level up to the manholes.  I’ve heard some stories about where that fill came from but does anyone actually know?


      • #3308

        I thought I read that the fill came from excavations for both Grand Central Terminal and the Jerome Reservoir.

      • #3309

          231st Street from Albany Crescent to Tibbetts Ave was filled in with the land/dirt from what is now the Jerome Reservoir.

        • #3310
          Peter Ostrander

            I would agree with that as the Jerome Pk Reservoir was built between 1894 and 1905 the same time period as the photo’s posted at top.  The dirt removed when Grand Central Terminal  was built  (ca.1912) was used to fill the Spuyten Duyvil creek initially east of the original Kings Bridge. That is from today’s Kingsbridge Ave and 230th St eastward.

          • #3311

            The building of Grand Central Terminal began in 1903. The 1908 photo in this Gothamist article ( shows that a massive amount of dirt (3.2 million yd³) had already been removed. Where did it go?

        Viewing 4 reply threads
        • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.