(Medallion) The leveling of the hills · Fresh water pond filled 1802-1812
As early as 1780, draining the Collect Ponds was suggested to rid the area of pestilence thought to originate in this swampy land. The adjacent tanneries and foundries, however, depended on this water for production and waste disposal. By the end of the 1700's the ponds were so polluted that the Common Council demanded they be filled. The nearby hills were razed to fill the pond, creating level terrain.
(Medallion) Cholera & small pox epidemics · Public health & vaccinations
(Medallion) Five Points / New immigrants & exploitation
In the 1840's, European and Irish immigrants and free blacks lived in the notorious Five Points district, where five streets crossed. This was an area of extreme poverty, crime, and disease. Wealthier immigrants lived in the blocks west of Centre Street. Class and racial conflict led to the 1863 Draft Riots, when poor immigrants resisted the Civil War draft. Part of Five Points was cleared to create the Civic Center in the 1920's.
(Medallion) The Civil War 1861-1865 · The Draft Riots 1863
(Medallion) The McCullough Shot Tower · James Bogardus
of lead shot consisted of dropping molten lead through a sieve at the top of a tower into a tank of water at its base. As it fell, a sphere was formed. In 1855, James Bogardus built a 175-foot tall octagonal shot tower near this point. The foundation may remain buried here. The first of its kind with a free-standing, cast iron frame and brick curtain wall, this structure was the forerunner of today's skyscraper.
(Medallion) Cast Iron Building · Cast Iron Building