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History

2. History

The name comes from a deep water port established along the neighborhood's East River (Long Island Sound) waterfront by Gouverneur Morris in 1842. He built a two mile (3 km) railroad fron Melrose to his family's holdings on the waterfront. The area is dominated by factory and warehouse buildings constructed in the mid- to late 1800s. Notable early businesses were the R. Hoe Co., as well as Cutler & Hammer Tool Works, and Mothers Friend Shirt Waist factory (1888) at Willow Ave. between E. 135th & E. 136th Sts. The area was the site of the Hell Gate generating plant of Con Edison, where George Metesky, the Mad Bomber who plagued NYC for decades was injured. While many of the early industrial buildings remain, much of the manufacturing has long since left the area. The most notable architectural/engineering feature of Port Morris is a series of concrete arches extending N from E. 132nd St., between Willow & Walnut Aves., which forms the N appraoch to the Hell Gate Bridge (1917).


On ramp to the Third Avenue bridge.

There is some evidence that a British paymaster ship went down off its coast, during the Revolutionary war with millions of dollars in gold aboard. No recovery was ever made.

A wave of arson during the 1970s destroyed or damaged many of the residential, commercial, and industrial structures in the area. In recent years industry has been making a come back to Port Morris. Many abandoned residential buildings are also being rehabilitated and designated low income housing.




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