Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP)
. Paint, ink, and soap factories were built. Warehouses, tanneries, coal yards, flour mills, and other businesses needed to support the new modern economy appeared.
The thriving Industrial Revolution brought growth to the banks of the Gowanus and the canal served as the conduit for building materials, including much of the borough’s now iconic brownstone. By World War I, the Gowanus Canal was the busiest industrial and commercial canal in the United States, transporting more than six million tons of cargo annually.
The Canal Today
By the middle of the 20th century, the industrial activity along the canal decreased dramatically. Most of the manufacturing facilities had left, prompting many areas around the canal to transition to commercial and residential use. These changes resulted in much less canal traffic and a growing desire for alternative uses of the canal, including recreation.
Regardless of its ultimate use, we all want to see a cleaner and healthier Gowanus Canal.