Brooklyn’s Ghost River

Images of 495 8th Avenue, Brooklyn NY


I’ve walked by this vacant lot near my house thousands of times. Only recently did I learn the reason this prime Brooklyn real estate remains undeveloped.

Up until the 1960s, a 6-story apartment building stood on the site, atop an underground stream, dubbed a “ghost river” by local geographers. Over time, the stream’s presence weakened the foundation, compromising the structure’s stability, until the building had to be demolished. A church two blocks north bought the unbuildable site and has been renting parking space to the neighborhood.

From pond, to apartments, to parking: what will be the next life for this site? – Or- can we divine the future of this site?

– Julie Boehm, LEED AP


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