I have been working with one of my students here at Cornell, Kaustubh Laddha, to create a 3D digital model of the long-vanished Gerritsen tide mill in southern Brooklyn. Built in the late 17th century on the banks of the Strome Kill (Gerritsen Creek in Marine Park), the mill was powered by seawater penned at high tide behind a rock dam and released as needed past the drive wheel. It was one of the earliest industrial buildings in New York State, and operated well into the 1890s. According to some accounts it was used by Washington’s troops during the Revolution and commandeered by British regulars under Lord Cornwallis during the Battle of Brooklyn.
Tragically, this extraordinary landmark was destroyed by an arsonist on the night of September 4, 1935. It nearly made it to safety, as the mill was being restored at the time by Parks Department architects Aymar Embury II and H. B. Guillan. We are using their plans and sections to construct the model. Though nothing remains of the mill itself, the tidal dam can still be seen at low tide just below Burnett Street at Avenue V. It is clearly visible on GoogleEarth or in the photo below that I took from my UAV last year. I will post images of our completed model when its done.