Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hugh Carey Was Pretty Much Responsible for Brooklyn Heights and Empire State Park

Former New York Gov. Hugh Carey, who died Sunday, is best remembered for saving New York City from bankruptcy. But the Brooklyn Eagle reminds us that he previously spent 14 years in Congress representing a district that stretched from Bay Ridge to Park Slope to Red Hook.

The Eagle quotes Otis Pearsall, Brooklyn Heights historic preservationist telling how, in the 1970s, Carey “gave his blessing” to the state’s purchase of what became Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park, including the Tobacco Warehouse and the Empire Stores. (The land was then owned by Con Edison, but others, including the Jehovah’s Witnesses, were seeking to buy it.)

In addition, Pearsall said, Carey succeeded in naming Brooklyn Heights a national historic landmark, a year before it was named a landmark district by the city. He was also instrumental in getting Scott Hand, then president of the Brooklyn Heights Association, appointed to the body that soon became the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Without Carey, Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO would be very different than they are today.

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Azi Paybarah Gatemouth, writing on Room Eight, tries to correct the many things various news sources got wrong about Hugh Carey, such as the Times report that he ran as an Independent in 1969.

Gatemouth throws in some interesting factoids, like Carey's courageous vetoes of the death penalty:
"When the sponsor, State Senator Dale Volker, responded that without the death penalty there would be no Christianity, Carey responded that it was not the death of Jesus, but the resurrection which was responsible for Christianity, and that if Volker could incorporate resurrection into the bill, Carey would sign it."

Brooklyn Remembers Hugh Carey  Brooklyn Eagle

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia 

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.


Anonymous said...

I think you meant Gatemouth, not Azi.

mcbrooklyn said...

You're right. We changed it, thanks.