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Past and Present of Red Hook Waterfront Explored in New Website

By Nikhita Venugopal | October 27, 2016 2:11pm
"An artist's rendering of a possible future Red Hook that never was. The birds-eye view of the Atlantic Dock was possibly done for the Atlantic Dock Company to promote their vision of what Red Hook could be," according to the website.
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Courtesy of Red Hook WaterStories, PortSide NewYork

RED HOOK — From historical maps to preparation against coastal flooding, a new website is delving into the Red Hook waterfront's past and present as the neighborhood approaches the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.

"Red Hook WaterStories 1.0," which launched Tuesday, is a new initiative from nonprofit maritime group PortSide NewYork, which seeks to re-insert "water back into the conversation."

Described as a "digital museum," the website features old maps, illustrations, oral histories, essays, and maritime facts of the area spanning centuries of the Red Hook waterfront, according to the organization that operates out of the Mary A. Whalen, a historic tanker docked in the Atlantic Basin.  

The website not only dives into the past but seeks to explore current commercial and community life in the neighborhood, including lists of contemporary maritime businesses, restaurants, shops and local resources. 

It also provides resources for new visitors to Red Hook, from waterfront access points to places to stay.

In the four years since Hurricane Sandy left Red Hook under several feet of water, flooding homes and businesses, the tight-knit community has pushed to rebuild the neighborhood.

Red Hook WaterStories provides several key resources for information on flood preparation efforts as well as stories of more than 30 Hurricane Sandy survivors who recorded their individual memories in oral histories captured by Emergency Management Methodology Partners.

A $100 million flood protection system is currently being considered to protect Red Hook, with funds from city capital and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA has also allocated $438 million for resiliency work at NYCHA's Red Hook Houses.

PortSide plans to add more research and content to the website in the near future.