Bronx volunteer group looking to make abandoned gantries a historical landmark

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Industrial relics of the Bronx's past are sitting abandoned, unused and underappreciated. Now -- a local group of volunteers is spear-heading an effort to change that.

Mychal Johnson is a co-founder of South Bronx Unite, a volunteer coalition requesting the city making some Port Morris gantries a historic landmark.

"This in the early 1900s was a location where shipping containers and barges and other sea vessels were lifted out of the water," says Johnson.

Abandoned for years, the gantries, or large frame structures in the water, represent a time from the borough's past. Now the area is blocked off and used for storage.

Other city gantries in Queens and Manhattan are considered landmark sites, and Johnson wants the same consideration.

"Why not create something that is more inviting? Something that is accessible," says Johnson.

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission says, "The agency is in the process of reviewing the request, which is done in light of the standards and requirements of the Landmarks Law."

"So any space like this, we're working to actually activate it, create green opportunities, create recreational opportunities and increase our own quality of life," says Johnson.

 

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