Report: 50 Bowery Hotel Site Turns Up Artifacts and Possible Water Cistern

Posted on: April 17th, 2014 at 9:22 am by
This image has been archived or removed.

So it looks like preservationists do have a moment in the sun to fawn over 50 Bowery and its possible ties to the famed Bull’s Head Tavern of yore. But the exercise will most likely be short-lived. After all, the Bowery needs its hotel, and fast. Consultants from the Brooklyn-based Chrysalis Archaeology firm have been down at the project site the past few days excavating and collecting samples.  The research is happening in a trench at the southern wall, all while preliminary foundation work continues for the 22-story hotel designed by Peter Poon Architects.

We hear reports that the team has already discovered a bevy of bottles and plates dating back over 150 years.

This image has been archived or removed.

Furthermore, another source sent a dispatch saying that the backhoe uncovered a pile of oyster shells (oyster shell pits are a common find at 18th and 19th century tavern sites). We are told that hotel owner Alex Chu has possible designs to recover many of these artifacts to display once the eyesore of a lodge debuts.

There’s more, though. Have a look at the photo below. The round feature in the foreground certainly resembles a cistern. It probably had a dome top and was used to collect and store water. Generally this infrastructure doesn’t contain a plethora of artifacts from the period of their use because who’s going to throw trash (ie artifacts) in their water tank. So, what was found in this spot might actually date after the 1860s when the lot would have had city plumbing and the cistern made obsolete.

This image has been archived or removed.

But actually obtaining confirmation from anyone onsite is virtually impossible. The perimeter is sealed like Fort Knox…

Recent Stories

Death of the Tombs as Demolition Prep Commences Ahead of High-rise Jail

It’s death for the Tombs. Or, rather demolition. After three years of protests and community outrage, the Manhattan Detention Complex at 125 White Street is finally coming down. Demolition just started ahead of the eventual high-rise jail destined for the site. In December 2021, the city terminated the leases of businesses beneath the jail along […]

Flowers for Water at Long-Neglected Schiff Fountain

A decrepit Lower East Side relic in Seward Park is born again colorful. Until last week, the Schiff Fountain on the Essex Street perimeter of the park – stripped of its grandeur and weathering in public view – had mainly functioned as harbor for illicit activity. A favored spot for drinkers, junkies, and drifters. But […]

Bowery Mural Wall Curator Calls Hiatus During Rash of Tagging

In a surprising turn of events, the longtime curator of the Bowery Mural Wall announced yesterday that artwork at the site is now on hiatus. Blame the taggers. Jessica Goldman Srebnick, head Goldman Global Arts (an arm of the Goldman Properties real estate firm that owns the wall), published a missive on Instagram about the […]

Q-Train Shooter Surrenders to Cops at the 5th Precinct

The man accused of shooting to death a straphanger in an apparent random attack on a subway train subway morning is now in police custody. Andrew Abdullah, 25, identified as the suspect in the shooting, turned himself in to cops at the 5th Precinct yesterday. Apparently the surrender was aided by Lamor Whitehead, an ex-con-turned-clergyman […]

This Mott Street ATM Gouges with 17% Fee

Storefront ATMs are nothing new. In fact, their ubiquity was so pronounced that the city banned freestanding ones from sidewalks about a decade ago. Visitors to Chinatown or the Lower East Side unfamiliar with bank ATM locations when in need of cash might not realize the exorbitant fees some ATM operators are charging. For instance, […]