Across the street from the John Green House, stretching north from Main Street, between Gedney Street and the Hudson River, sits an abandoned gasification plant and fuel storage depot. Safely nestled behind a chain link fence, and overgrown with weeds, are the remains of a partially remediated brownfield. The plant and fuel depot were the dominant features of the Nyack waterfront for about 75 years and have been abandoned and fallow since the mid-1960s.
The New York State DEC declared the site a brownfield.
Aerial view of the Gedney gas field from 1955. The John Green House sits at the bottom of the circle (at about 6:00 on a clock face), just where Main Street and Gedney meet. All of the storage tanks are long gone. The buildings housing the gas works were long ago demolished. And the tank on the west side of the street (just above Lydecker Street) is also long gone. Left in their wake though was polluted ground, uninhabitable, unsafe, and a blight on the Village of Nyack. Part of the parcel has been owned by a local developer for many years, and that same developer now has an option to purchase the balance of the land from its current owner. The site has been partially remediated, though it still remains unsafe to build on.
Now, finally, beginning in 2015, an effort has been underway by that same developer, in partnership with a local architectural firm to complete the remediation of the brownfield, build a dedicated public park along the waterfront, and site over 100 market-rate condominiums on the site. Zoning changes are underway to facilitate developer's ability to transform the waterfront. The Village of Nyack is revamping its master plan, with a new focus on the waterfront. Plans are underfoot to build a contiguous walkway from Memorial Park to a site terminating at the north end of the Gedney Brownfield. The Tappan Zee Community Benefits Fund has just granted the Village of Nyack $195,000 to build a walkway over the inlet separating Memorial Park from the Village owned lots just south of the John Green House.
Part of the plans include a waterfront cafe, river access, and landscaped walkways. For the first time in 50 years, the Village of Nyack may be able to a safely access the waterfront north of Main Street and east of Gedney. For the first time in 50 years, families will be enjoying waterfront living, in the place where gas tanks once resided. The current Village government has the foresight to make it possible for this to happen. And all of this will certainly benefit the John Green House. Sitting alone, across from the Brownfield, the House was all but forgotten, and left for dead. Saved by the John Green Preservation Coalition, Inc. in September of 2015, we are now poised to own waterfront property that is part of a thriving, modern waterfront.
When John Green built the House in 1819, it was the center of economic activity in and about Nyack. Now, perhaps in time for the House's bicentennial in 2019, it will once again be in the center of everything -- a jewel in Nyack's crown, and an anchor on its waterfront.
We need community support to make all of this happen. Our progress is proof of our commitment. Here are a few ways to help: (1) make a donation at our Generosity/IndieGoGo crowdfunding page; (2) become a member or make a tax-deductible contribution on our web site; (3) make a tax-deductible donation of a vehicle, running or otherwise, to the John Green Preservation Coalition; or, (4) mail a check to: The John Green Preservation Coalition, Inc., P.O. Box 378, Nyack, NY 10960.
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